move precedes stall ban
STALL-and-tether-free pigmeat is central to Tescos new pig welfare code.
The ban will be effective for all fresh pork from Aug 1 and within 12 months will be extended to cover all the companys own brand pigmeat products, including ham and bacon.
The move comes 17 months ahead of UK government legislation to abolish stall-and-tether housing, but more importantly seven years before the EU-wide ban takes place, said Tesco meat trading director Andrew Batty.
"To help our suppliers comply with the transition, the ban applies to all new-born piglets entering the production chain from Aug 1."
Tescos fresh pork is sourced almost 100% from UK farms, but the company still imports ham and bacon from the Continent.
Mr Batty said it was pressing overseas suppliers to meet the 12-month deadline to get rid of stalls-and-tethers. "But in all honesty I do not think they are taking the welfare issue seriously," he said.
"We will keep up the pressure, but I see this as a golden opportunity for the UK pig sector to brand British pork as the market leader in welfare terms " – not just in the UK but overseas as well.
"It is a chance for UK product to march back into British supermarkets and develop significant export opportunities.
"If Continental suppliers dont take the stall-and-tether ban seriously then I, personally, will go out and help UK suppliers find a way to match the quality and consistency of supply that we need from home-reared stall-and-tether-free pigmeat."