Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is always among the top ten issues of concern to our customers. Because we’re foodmakers as well as shopkeepers in stores and online, we buy directly from over 3,000 British farmers. In buying such a high percentage of British produce we are supporting the high standards of animal welfare that are at the heart of British farming.

"Ensuring every animal in our supplier network is treated with care and respect and is content"

Our Approach

We work hard to continually improve the standards and reporting of animal health and welfare in our own supply chain and through our third party supplier network. Our policies have their foundation in the ‘Five Freedoms’ established by the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 1979: 


Our animal welfare standards cover physical and mental health and wellbeing for farm animals, and the ability for each species to express specific behaviours and positive experiences. We have a zero tolerance approach to breaches in our animal welfare standards.
We manage adherence to animal welfare standards by working closely with our suppliers. This includes ensuring welfare standards are clear and form an audited part of our ways of working together in all contracts and agreements.

Our Actions 

  • Having a dedicated team to monitor, develop and manage farm animal welfare standards including our Head of Livestock , animal welfare officers, and farm development colleagues in our own meat and egg businesses (Woodheads and Chippindales).
  • Our Sustainable Sourcing and Fisheries Manager oversees our fish and seafood sourcing standards, reviewing welfare standards in use by suppliers of both wild caught and farmed species.
  • Our Sustainability and Technical Director is ultimately responsible for farm animal welfare in our supply chains (including fish and seafood). Animal welfare is reported on a monthly basis to members of our board.
  • Working closely with all our suppliers to measure, monitor and manage animal welfare in our fresh milk and poultry businesses, including with our team of technical assessors.
  • Working with our manufacturing and technical colleagues to ensure that farm animal welfare standards are traced and audited throughout all our supply chains, from fresh and processed products through to ingredients.
  • Working with vets, nutritionists, colleges, auditors and farmers to consider and develop projects and learning that can help improve farm animal health and welfare standards.
  • Supporting and working closely with key industry associations including the National Farmers Union, National Pig Association, RSPCA, Compassion In World Farming and Red Tractor.
  • Having dedicated health and welfare targets for each of the sectors we look after, namely: pork, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, dairy, cheese and eggs.

Our Progress

Please find our Latest Animal Welfare Progress Report here

You can read more about our animal welfare policies, along with our species specific requirements in the links below 

You can find out more about awards and recognition we have received on our Farming Website

Communication, Research and Training

Training is an important aspect of our agricultural plan to ensure that colleagues on farm, and in our supply chain have the skills and knowledge they need to operate sustainable businesses.