All our fresh pork is British and is clearly labelled with the country of origin. Our strict traceability means we can trace our fresh pork to the farms where it was produced.
Currently all M&S fresh pork is RSPCA Assured
outdoor bred produced on M&S Select Farms to our M&S Select Farm Assurance standard for fresh pork. Within our speciality range we have free range and organic pork too.
However, we are in the process of moving to a single standard where all pork used in M&S for both fresh, ingredient use and continental meats will be sourced from M&S Select Farms. This would also see all our pork being either RSPCA Assured
outdoor bred, raised in an Indoor Free Farrowing system, free range or organic.
We have chosen specific breeds of pig that are well suited to outdoor breeding and show good mothering ability. Their offspring are weaned at 28 days and they are then housed in deep straw bedded barns. Compared to national assurance schemes we insist on 100% outdoor breeding, straw for bedding and comfort and provide pigs 25% more space. We do not permit castration, tail docking or tooth clipping of the pigs.
Our M&S Select Farm Assurance standards for pork have been developed in collaboration with suppliers, industry experts and NGOs. They cover criteria such as traceability and integrity, animal health and welfare, medicines and biosecurity, feed and water, vermin control, facilities for housing and shelter, casualty and fall stock, transport, environmental protection, documentation, outdoor pig production, free range production, and worker health safety and welfare.
We have developed our own specification for the feeding of our pigs which ensures animals are fed a wholesome diet to maintain optimum health and welfare. All feed mills sourcing the raw material feed and formulating the rations are audited once a year.
All feed should be sourced from a verifiable approved source (e.g. AIC Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) or Feed Material Assurance Scheme (FEMAS)) which also meets our specification.
We prohibit the addition of any animal or avian derived by-products in any of our pig feed (the only exception to this is milk and milk by-products). The diets are generally:
- Barley, wheat or maize – whole or processed (milled, etc)
- Legumes and oilseeds – whole or processed
We do not permit the feeding of antibiotics or hormones for purposes of growth promotion. Where veterinary medicines are administered due to ill health strict withdrawal periods are met to ensure no traces of the medicine remain in the meat.
Farms rearing pigs for M&S organic pork must comply with the organic standards for pork laid down by UK approved Certification Bodies listed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).