Freedom Food Pork Sales up for Third Consecutive Year22 April 2013
UK - Freedom Food production pork has risen for the third year running which means that availability of Freedom Food labelled pork is at its highest ever level.
The amount of pork – including sausages, bacon and cooked ham, as well as fresh pork – produced to RSPCA welfare standards and carrying the RSPCA’s Freedom Food logo has risen by 200 per cent* over the last three years (between 2009 and 2012), showing that pig welfare is still firmly front of mind for consumers despite the increase in cost of living.
This announcement follows news that McDonald’s has become the first high street restaurant chain to use 100 per cent Freedom Food pork across its UK menu, making it the second largest buyer of Freedom Food pork products.
New research released by McDonald’s reveals that three quarters of people say they prefer to buy food from farms with high standards of animal welfare in place, and animal welfare ranks alongside price and traceability as the top factors behind their food purchasing decisions (March 2013).
The increase in Freedom Food labelled pork is mirrored by an upsurge in the number of pigs under the scheme. Over the last three years Freedom Food has seen an almost 50 per cent rise with around 948,000 more pigs being reared in 2012, compared to 2009**.
David Squair, chief executive for Freedom Food, said: “This means that nearly a third of all British farmed pigs are now being reared under Freedom Food where they benefit from the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards, which is great progress.
“It is clear that British consumers remain firmly committed to farm animal welfare, despite the difficult economic climate. This news also reinforces the fact that people really do have the power to bring about positive changes to farm animals’ lives through what they buy at the supermarket and choose to eat in restaurants.
“The more people demand higher welfare, the more farmers will rear to higher welfare standards and the more animals will benefit from better lives.”
There are now 420 different Freedom Food labelled pork products – including sausages, bacon and cooked ham, as well as fresh pork – available in UK supermarkets.
According to The Co-operative’s latest annual report, Ethical Consumerism (December 2012), ethical food sales continue to grow, with a rise of 4.66 per cent in 2011. Freedom Food labelled products are one of the biggest winners – showing growth in 2010/11 of 17.32 per cent.
Online adverts promoting Freedom Food will run for one week from Monday, 22 April.
*Figures are based on license fee income for use of the Freedom Food logo
**Animal numbers correct as of March 2013
TheMeatSite News Desk