UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has launched a new project that aims to improve the breeding, feeding and husbandry techniques used in indoor pig production, reports Farmers Weekly.
The ‘pig concept farm’ will firstly aim to find a more welfare-friendly alternative to farrowing crates. The supermarket will work with an intensive 1200-sow indoor pig farm in East Yorkshire to trial prototype designs this summer.
Sainsbury’s agricultural manager Annie Graham said “Our customers expect us to lead the way in animal welfare. We did it with higher welfare chicken and eggs from battery chickens and we feel that the time is right to improve conditions for pigs.
“Because we are a major pork retailer, any positive changes we make to the farrowing system will benefit millions of pigs in the future.”
Increased customer demand for welfare-friendly production systems has prompted the supermarket to take this action. One-fifth of shoppers say that knowing about animal welfare standards influences their product choice, which is up from 13% in 2008, according to research carried out by the supermarket.