Marks & Spencer to audit dairy farms to RSPCA assured standards
Marks & Spencer has commissioned the RSPCA to audit all of its dairy farms to RSPCA Assured Standards. The retailer will also publish the results on its website.
M&S director of food Andy Adcock has said that all 40 UK farms, known as the M&S Milk Pool, will be audited by the assessors “as soon as possible”.
The move comes in advance of the retailer adopting RSPCA Assured Standards as its minimum requirement which will see the farms assessed annually.
RSPCA Assured Standards cover all aspects of milk production including calf rearing, cow welfare, accommodation, health planning, transport, feed and grazing. The farms will still be required to be Red Tractor Assured, and M&S will continue its own twice yearly Select Farm Assurance audits.
Adcock said: “This is a significant strengthening of our animal welfare standards. We are already recognised by leading animal charities but are always looking to improve and RSPCA Assured is the best in the business. Very few farms operate to that level of animal welfare and adoption of these standards will set M&S dairy farms apart – and that’s what our customers want and expect from us.”
The M&S Milk Pool was set up in 2000 to give M&S farmers the stability to enable them to invest for the future.
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