M&S dairy farms become RSPCA assured
Marks & Spencer has announced that it has become the first major retailer to source all of its fresh milk from RSPCA Assured dairy farms.
The retailer said all 37 farms that supply fresh milk to its M&S Milk Pool have achieved RSPCA Assured certification and that all M&S fresh milk packaging will from now on carry the RSPCA Assured logo.
RSPCA Assured standards cover all aspects of cow welfare associated with milk production including calf rearing, accommodation, health planning, transport, feed and grazing.
Steve McLean, head of agriculture and fisheries at M&S, said: “No other retailer has this level of transparency or standards in its dairy supply chain.
“Back in March we faced calls to cut ties with one of our dairy farmers because of a breach of animal welfare regulations. It would have not have been the right thing to do. One of our farmers made a mistake, so instead we worked with the farmer to rectify the issue and took the decision to strengthen our standards by asking an independent to assess all of our dairy farms.
“We know how much animal welfare matters to our customers and that they expect the highest standards from us. RSPCA Assured standards are the highest in the dairy industry and we are proud of our farmers who work hard day-in-day-out to enable us to achieve this for our Milk Pool.”
M&S has also published RSPCA Assured assessment reports for each of its Milk Pool supplier farms as part of an interactive online map. The map shows customers where M&S milk is sourced from and they are also able to see summary results for each farm and download a full assessment report.
The 37 farms that supply fresh milk to M&S were visited by RSPCA assessors during April, May and June and had 332 standards assessed during each visit.
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