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We know how important animal welfare is to customers. That is why we have a dedicated agriculture team who are responsible for implementing strict Tesco Livestock Codes of Practice. These Codes cover all aspects of farming from the breeding farms to the finishing farms, and ensure good environmental practice as well as welfare and food safety.
How We Source Beef
Tesco aims to provide customers with quality, sustainable beef an affordable price for all.We monitor our beef from farm to fork and challenge the industry to move forwards with regards to welfare and the environment.
Choosing Responsibly Sourced Beef
Cattle graze in fields for most of the year and to ensure good health and desirable meat, the grass must be of good quality. Because of this, we encourage our farmers to manage it as a crop in its own right.
In winter, cattle live in barns and are fed a balanced diet, including dried grass, cereals and vegetables. We control the supply of any ready-made feed mixes through our Feed Mill Code of Practice. In addition, farmers must meet legal requirements and assurance standards, and are audited by organisations such as the UK's Red Tractor and Ireland's BordBia. We never source direct from livestock markets.
How we source lamb
Tesco is proud of the quality of our lamb and works hard to ensure that customers can enjoy this tasty and succulent meat all year round. Responsible sourcing is at the heart of our policy. Here is some information on how we achieve this.
How to choose responsibly sourced lamb
Tesco works with around 14,000 farmers - mostly family farmers - in the UK and Ireland to offer quality lamb that has been produced in a sustainable manner. We work with our farmers to minimise the impact on the environment, encouraging bio-diversity and work to preserve traditional farmland.
As well as buying from UK farmers, we also import lamb from New Zealand to top up our supply of British lamb, which is particularly needed throughout the winter. New Zealand lamb still has to meet our high welfare standards, and lambs there spend a lot of time in open pastures and graze on meadowlands, giving the meat its distinctive flavour. New Zealand lamb is only found in the pre-pack meat aisle and not on the meat counter.
However, even throughout the winter months, we do purchase lamb from UK farmers, whether this is spring lamb or slightly older lambs, called 'hoggets'. Our British lambs come from all around the country and spend their lives on farms from the top of the heather covered hills right down to the bottom of the grass valleys.
The flock is only brought inside during the lambing period, so that ewes and lambs can be closely monitored and also so that lambs can get to their mothers easily before going out to grass. In addition, farms are audited each year to make sure that health and welfare standards are continually met. Also look for the quality standard mark to indicate product quality.
How We Source Pork
We work closely with farmers to provide responsibly-sourced, quality pork at an affordable price, while paying special attention to animal welfare, traceability and the environment.
Choosing Responsibly Sourced Pork
Pigs are farmed either indoors or outdoors.
Indoor units include computerised feeding systems, temperature-controlled housing and toys for the pigs to play with. These features have been improved over the years to offer the best possible environment for the pigs to live in.
Outdoor-produced pigs live in huts, in areas of free-draining light land, with piglets moved into an indoor unit at weaning.
All pigs feed on a high-quality, cereal-based diet, mostly made up of wheat, barley and soya, and enriched with vitamins and minerals to provide a balanced diet.
Tesco sources pork from Farm Assured farms in the UK, which are independently audited each year and randomly spot-checked, and farmers must meet legal requirements and standards set out by organisations such as Red Tractor (UK). We also buy from farms in mainland Europe - mainly Denmark, Holland and Germany - which work to the same standards as our UK farms. We never source direct to our abattoirs from livestock markets.
How we source chicken
Tesco aims to provide high quality, responsibly sourced chicken at an affordable price.
Choosing responsibly sourced chicken
Tesco chickens are reared in Britain and Europe by experienced farmers and are fed a good quality, cereal-based diet. The feed is altered as the chicken grows, to make sure it receives a carefully balanced diet at each stage of its development.
The birds live in specially designed houses and have access to food and water as well as room to move freely and behave naturally. Some production systems provide access to the outdoors, for example for free range and organic farmed chickens.
Chickens aren't kept in cages and are not fed growth promoters or hormones. They are constantly monitored by professional farmers. All our chickens are grown to the Tesco Chicken Standard, which covers the life cycle of the bird and they can be fully tracedto their farm of origin.
Our British chickens also meet Red Tractor standards. Red Tractor certified farms have to consult with a vet to ensure food safety, the health and wellbeing of the bird, and only prescribe antibiotics if necessary. More information about the Red Tractor Standard is available at their website: http://redtractor.org.uk
Look for the Red Tractor logo and the Union Jack flag on packs of chicken to indicate that the product meets these specifications and is British. Chicken reared in Europe is clearly labelled accordingly and does not carry the Red Tractor logo.