Antibiotics used as animal growth promoters are strictly forbidden on any farms supplying Morrisons products.
- No pork in our own-brand fresh supply chain is treated with any antibiotics critically important to human health.
- At all times, farmers observe strict withdrawal periods for any animal or bird who may have received an antibiotic treatment; regulated residue levels means food is always safe to eat
- Animal and bird welfare is important for our business, our customers, and for the farms we work with. That’s why on occasion and after scientific diagnosis, vets working with our supplying farms may need to prescribe antibiotics to livestock to treat certain health conditions.
- To help keep antibiotics effective for the human population, we have an active programme of responsible use in place. Buying directly from over 2,200 farmers and having worked closely with vets for a number of years, we know this is important for all of us.
Our work to date has included:
- Having a robust methodology in place to monitor the use of antibiotics in our fresh poultry, dairy and egg supply chain
- Working with our farmers, vets and universities to help develop monitoring tools for the UK pork, beef and sheep sectors, which have a wide variety of farm-based IT systems
- Ensuring active herd and flock health plans are being used on farm, developed in association with the farm vet, reducing the need for antibiotics in the first place.
- Colistin is prohibited in all our fresh meat and dairy products.
- Farms which supply our other fresh meat, fish, dairy and eggs are required to only use critically important antibiotics (as defined by the European Medicines Alliance) as a last resort, if at all.
- Our own brand products are produced from animals that are not routinely receiving antibiotics when they are not needed.
- Asking all farms supplying Morrisons with meat, dairy and eggs to report their antibiotic use for anonymous benchmarking
We will continue to share best practice through our farming groups, farming website and ‘Farming Matters’ magazine and will continue to work with vets, who are the gatekeepers of antibiotics on farm to maintain the momentum of reducing antibiotic use on farms and only using antibiotics when these are strictly necessary.
We support the RUMA targets for the industry and as antibiotic use is an issue that affects everyone, we work in partnership across the industry. We are members of the BRC’s working group on AMR and the IGD’s Strategic Steering Group for Antibiotic Use in the food supply chain as well as supporters of RUMA, the NFU, NPA and AHDB.
Morrisons is part of the Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials (FIIA) which has the stated vision of ‘Retailers, manufacturers, processors and food service companies coming together to promote and support responsible antibiotic use and action on antimicrobial resistance’. The intention of this initiative is to support and engage with existing industry groups working in this area, ensuring work is aligned, and duplication of effort avoided. FIIA has published three policies covering: Responsible Use of Antibiotics, Measurement of Antibiotic Data, and a Code of Conduct on Access to and Use of Industry Data. Morrisons supports and subscribes to these policies as part of its approach to antibiotic stewardship. The policies and further information about FIIA can be found at www.fiia.co.uk.
Antibiotic Usage: 2020
100% of our fresh supply chain measures its use of antibiotics as part of the Red Tractor Standard. We also monitor antibiotic use in all our fresh protein supply, ensuring that the groups are meeting or improving on targets set for the industry by RUMA.
We note that there are still significant concerns from vets and industry bodies about the differing methodologies for data collection and how representative small sample sizes actually are, along with the complexities of direct and indirect supply chains involving parts of carcasses being sent to different supply chains. For that reason, we have chosen not to publish the antibiotic use figures reported to us in our supply chain in case this is benchmarked against other supply chains, which may double count some results.