The Engagement Award was presented to Sainsbury’s for its higher-welfare tinned meat. The Engagement Award is one of RSPCA’s most prestigious animal welfare accolades, given at the charity’s Good Business Awards ceremony on the evening of 24 October.
Sainsbury’s came up with a new canned meat product that is made with outdoor-reared pork from pigs inspected to the RSPCA’s higher-welfare standards. The RSPCA said the potted meat product was easy on the conscience as well as the pocket.
RSPCA judge and independent food consultant Geoff Spriegel said: “This is a real example of a retailer bringing affordable higher-welfare food to a mass market. It just goes to show that higher-welfare food is not just about expensive, specialist products that are out of most people’s price range. We have seen the tide turning in recent years, as better-welfare food becomes more common and affordable.”
Sainsbury’s also won the “highest accolade among supermarkets, which was Retailer of the Year. It was given to the supermarket chain as judges were impressed with the company’s “all-round commitment to higher-welfare food and good customer communication”.
The award came just a week after MeatInfo.co.uk broke the news that Sainsbury’s was dropping the Red Tractor logo from its products. Red Tractor told MeatInfo.co.uk that although they were still disappointed Sainsbury’s had dropped the logo, they were pleased it had won the award.
Other awards given at the ceremony included the new Hot Topic award, which puts the power to decide what animal welfare issues matter most back into the hands of the consumers
Judging for the Hot Topic award was done by public vote, where four topical animal welfare issues were raised. Then supermarkets were asked to show how they were working on the four issues within their business and how they were improving the welfare of animals.
As a result, live transport was voted as the “Hot Topic” for 2012 and The Co-operative was given the award for its average transport time of less than one hour.
Winner of the best independent retailer award was Wirral-based traditional butcher Edge and Sons and organic food delivery company Abel & Cole, along with cured meat producer The Bath Pig Company, were both highly commended within the category.
Winner of the independent restaurant award was Lussmans Fish and Grill restaurant, while Café Spice Namaste was highly commended.
The British Larder, Suffolk, won the pubs category for commitment to animal welfare, and the Navigation Inn at Buxworth was commended. Eco Cuisine, an ethical catering company in London, won best caterer.