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We’re proud to say we’ve been awarded Sustained Excellence in the RSPCA Good Business Awards 2011, for achievements in animal welfare.

At M&S we, our suppliers and our livestock farmers, are all committed to high standards of farm animal welfare. Many of our suppliers have worked with us for decades and our farmers are proud to supply our business.

The top five M&S achievements in animal welfare are:
MILK PLEDGE PLUS: All M&S fresh milk producers participate in the M&S Dairy Health and Welfare Programme developed by Bristol University, which tackles the major dairy production welfare issues. Each of our farms is visited by an independent vet and is given their own specific welfare action plan. Producers are rewarded for improvement in cow health and welfare and farm standards – and we’re the only retailer that does this.

FREE RANGE EGGS: Since 1997 we’ve only sold free range eggs, and from 2002 this policy spread to cover all eggs used as an ingredient in our prepared foods. All M&S eggs are produced to RSPCA Welfare and Freedom Food standards.

HIGH WELFARE VEAL: We’re committed to making sure that dairy bull calves are used in the food chain. We’ve also banned continental white veal and only sell high quality, high welfare British sourced veal from M&S dairy herds.

OUTDOOR BRED PORK: All M&S fresh pork is outdoor bred on specially selected farms. Pigs enjoy up to five times more space than some national farm assurance schemes and are housed on deep straw for comfort, bedding, and to allow them to perform their natural rooting behaviours. All M&S outdoor bred pork is produced to RSPCA Welfare and Freedom Food standards.

OAKHAM CHICKEN: In 2002 we introduced Oakham chickens, which are all 100% British from known farms, slower grown, fed on a wholesome vegetarian diet, given more space that the industry standards and a better environment including natural daylight. Not only do we know Oakham chickens are a higher welfare standard, our Oakham farmers tell us they prefer to grow chicken this way.