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Tell me about M&S fresh pork

Where does Marks & Spencer fresh pork come from?

 

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.

What standards do the farms meet?

 

All Marks & Spencer fresh pork is either Outdoor Bred or free range produced on specially selected known and audited farms to Marks & Spencer specifications. These allow us to give our customers assurances on animal welfare, food safety and quality.

When developing our Outdoor Bred and free range fresh pork we wanted to give our customers consistently good quality pork and deliver high standards of animal health and welfare.Therefore 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 (in the case of Outdoor Bred).  Compared to the national assurance schemes we insist on 100% outdoor breeding, produced five times more straw for bedding and comfort and give the pigs 25% more space. Nor do we permit the castration, tail docking or tooth clipping of the pigs used for our fresh pork.

All farms supplying Marks & Spencer are audited by Marks & Spencer technologists and trained, skilled auditors who know our detailed standards.  Before any farm can supply Marks & Spencer it must meet the requirements of our Codes of Practice, any that does not is simply not used.

What are the pigs fed?

Marks & Spencer has developed its own specification for the feeding of pigs used for our fresh pork. This ensures animals are fed a wholesome, non GM cereal based diet to maintain optimum health and welfare.

Marks & Spencer prohibits the addition of any animal or avian derived by-products in any of its 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

Are the pigs fed any antibiotics?

If an animal is ill or there is a threat of disease the veterinary surgeon responsible for the care of the pigs is permitted to use antibiotics to treat it. No antibiotics are permitted for growth promotion.

Are the pigs given any hormones?

No. It is illegal to administer any growth promoting hormones to any animal used for food production in the UK and throughout the EU.  To make sure this does not happen, Marks & Spencer commission tests all our meat products at an independent laboratory to confirm they do not contain any residues of hormones or veterinary medicines.

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