Scottish Pig Industry, SPCA Welcome Welfare Label Commitment23 July 2013
UK - The pig industry in Scotland and the Scottish SPCA, Scotland’s animal welfare charity, yesterday (22 July) welcomed a commitment from Aldi to support the industry’s pioneering welfare label.
Shoppers visiting Aldi, which has 46 stores located throughout Scotland, will from this week see "Specially Selected Pork Approved by the Scottish SPCA" labels on all Scottish-origin fresh pork packs on the retailer’s shelves.
This week’s announcement follows on-going discussions between representatives from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Aldi and Ayrshire-based Lynch Meats, most recently at the Royal Highland Show.
"Today’s announcement by Aldi is an excellent result for the Scottish pig industry," said Jim McLaren, QMS Chairman.
"Consumers are increasingly stating that animal welfare is a priority when making purchase decisions and Aldi’s commitment will help to further boost awareness of our industry’s excellent welfare credentials.
"We look forward to other retailers seizing the opportunity to stock a brand which meets consumers’ requirements for provenance, quality assurance and welfare."
The Specially Selected Pork label approved by the Scottish SPCA was launched to highlight the high welfare standard of pigs on Scottish farms. Pig farms throughout Scotland are visited by Scottish SPCA inspectors as part of the ground-breaking initiative behind the label. The initiative was the UK's first farm assurance and food labeling scheme independently approved by a national animal welfare charity.
Participation is voluntary and around 98 per cent of total Scottish pig production has now been inspected by the Scottish SPCA. The integrity of the scheme is founded on the fact that the Scottish SPCA receives no income, either directly or through any subsidiary, from the inspections. As a result consumers can have complete confidence in the impartiality and independence of the inspection process.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: "We welcome Aldi’s announcement, which further demonstrates the high animal welfare standards on Scottish pig farms.
"We don’t charge any fee and receive no income from our inspections because it is crucial that the public have complete confidence in our independence and the 'Approved by the Scottish SPCA' label."
Aldi is set to open a further four stores in Scotland in the months to come and currently has shops from Inverness to the Borders. The retailer, which recently won The Grocer magazine’s "Grocer of the Year" award as well as being named "Supermarket of the Year 2013" by Which?, is supplied by Lynch Quality Meats, which sources pork products from processors including Millers of Speyside and Robertson’s Fine Foods.
Richard Holloway, Managing Director for Aldi in Scotland, commented: "As part of an ongoing commitment to source quality Scottish produce, Aldi is proud to be working with QMS on this significant welfare initiative. Sourcing food with integrity is of utmost importance to Aldi, and our Scottish pork range is now well established across our Scottish stores."