UK: McDonald’s to source all pork for UK menu from British farms

McDonald's commits to UK pork

McDonald's commits to UK pork

McDonald’s is to source all the pork for its UK menu from British farms that meet strict animal welfare criteria, it has announced.

All sausage and bacon served in meals from McMuffins to premium salads will be 100% Freedom Food pork from farms meeting standards set down by animal welfare charity the RSPCA for how pigs are reared and treated.

The company said the move will make it the UK’s second biggest buyer of pork from the Freedom Food scheme, which goes beyond industry standards and legislation to demand higher animal welfare.

From the end of April, all pig farmers that supply McDonald’s will be required to provide bright, airy environments, bedded pens and plenty of space for pigs to move around in, the company said.

Almost a third of British pig farmers meet the RSPCA Freedom Food standards, and McDonald’s said it hoped its support for the scheme would encourage more producers to adopt the criteria on their farms.

A poll of 2,000 people for McDonald’s found nearly three-quarters (73%) prefer to buy food produced from farms with high welfare standards in place.

People rank price, animal welfare and traceability of products as the top factors influencing buying decisions, the survey revealed.

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Warren Anderson, vice president, supply chain at McDonald’s UK, said: “Not only will our move to Freedom Food pork make it easier for people to make affordable, ethical choices on the high street, we hope that more of Britain’s pig producers will have the confidence to invest in the future and adopt the RSPCA’s higher-welfare standards on their farms.”

David Squair, chief executive of the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme, said: “The Freedom Food market has been growing for a number of years, but having one of the UK’s biggest restaurant chains serving only Freedom Food logo-ed pork on its menu marks a major milestone for animal welfare.

“McDonald’s has shown it is possible to bring higher welfare food to consumers on the high street, and we hope that other restaurants will follow McDonald’s lead and more farmers will be inspired to adopt world-class animal welfare standards.”