Supermarkets line-up for most animal-friendly

13 August, 2009

Animal charity the RSPCA is looking for consumers to vote for the most animal-friendly supermarket as part of the Good Business Awards.

The People’s Choice Supermarket award, in conjunction with The Independent newspaper, recognises the British supermarket that is making the biggest strides to improve animal welfare. The three supermarkets that have made the shortlist this year are The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.

RSPCA head of external affairs David Bowles said: “This is the fifth year of the Good Business Awards, and we felt it was important to reward the efforts being made by supermarkets that go the extra mile to promote animal welfare, and recognise that consumers haven’t left behind their ethics in a quest for value.”

The Co-operative has been shortlisted because it was the first retailer to adopt the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme in 1994 and stocks one of the largest ranges; all its fresh and frozen chicken is reared to higher-welfare Elmwood standard, which improves the lives of 20m chickens each year, and its Truly Irresistible fresh pork, bacon and sausage ranges are all from Freedom Food-approved farms.

Marks & Spencer has been shortlisted because, since 2002, all fresh chicken is either Oakham or free-range Oakham chicken, which means the chicken are slower-grown with more space allowance and objects to peck and perch on, all its fresh pork is outdoor-bred and a proportion is free-range and it banned continental white veal in 2008 and moved to higher-welfare British veal.

Meanwhile Sainsbury’s own-brand Woodland Chicken is said to be provided with increased shelter and this results in better animal welfare for a significant numbers of the birds.

Awards judge Richard Johnson said: “TV coverage on the plight of chickens and pigs has had a profound effect on the public and customers want to buy from supermarkets that make being animal-friendly easy by using suppliers that rear their animals with humanity.”

You can cast your vote online at or by texting either MANDS, SAIN or COOP to 60022 where texts will be charged at the standard rate.

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