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Pick n Pay to phase out sow stalls from fresh supply chain

29 September 2014

Pick n Pay has today announced a major new commitment to accelerate progress on the welfare of pigs in South Africa.

From 31 December 2015, all fresh pork sold in Pick n Pay stores must come from farms which use group housing for pregnant sows during the gestation period, allowing freedom of movement and social interaction for the animals. 

From 31 December 2016, this commitment will be extended to cover all processed pork products manufactured by Pick n Pay. 

Commenting on the announcement, David North, Pick n Pay Group Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director said:

“This is a major step forward for farm animal welfare standards in South Africa.  There is no legislation on phasing out sow stalls in this country, and a voluntary industry deadline does not take effect until 2020.  We think this timetable is too slow.  We have therefore been working with our suppliers and with animal welfare organisations on how we can move on a much faster and more ambitious timescale.  We thank all these groups for engaging so constructively with us. 

“Achieving a more ambitious timetable in a diverse industry, and in the absence of national legislation, is not straightforward.  It raises challenges of enforcement and in ensuring that valued small suppliers can develop the capacity and capability to meet the new requirements. 

“Our new deadline of 31 December 2015 for our fresh pork supply reflects these challenges, while setting a bold, new benchmark among the biggest food retailers in South Africa. 

“Our new deadline of 31 December 2016 for our processed pork products takes into account the more complex supply chain for processed products.  It is nonetheless an ambitious timetable which will require commitment and change within the industry.

 “We will strengthen our own audit process to reflect the new requirements we are introducing.  We will also work closely and constructively with all our valued suppliers to ensure the new commitments become a reality.  The Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation has been instrumental in supporting emerging entrepreneurs in this sector and will continue to do so in the future.

“We call on everyone in the retail and production chain in South Africa to support the steps we are taking and to introduce equivalent standards that would benefit the whole industry as well as the cause of animal welfare.  

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