What's special about Waitrose & Partners pork?
• Our outdoor bred pigs live their lives in straw based accommodation and have a lot more space to thrive than the industry average.
• This is the minimum standard for our pigs, and none of our pig farms use slatted floors or confinement stalls.
• All Waitrose & Partners fresh pork, including bacon, sausages, gammon and ham is 100% British. All the pork in our essential Waitrose sausages comes from British outdoor bred pigs.
• You won't find any rind, offal or mechanically recovered meat in any of our sausages and we never add water to our ham.
Meet the farmers...
If you’ve ever wondered what a contented pig looks like, look no further than Michael and Ian Baker’s Norfolk farm. The brothers raise pigs for Waitrose & Partners free-range pork. Their animals live in the open air, where they can dig about and wallow in mud as they please.
‘We give them a good quality of life‘with lots of space to roam,’ says Michael.
The Baker brothers’ pigs live in small herds, each on a two-acre plot, with a canvas tent for protection from sun and rain, straw beds and access to fresh water whenever they want it.
In the 30-plus years the farm has been supplying Waitrose & Partners, Ian and Michael have constantly worked to a detailed set of on-farm standards, which lay down everything from what the pigs are fed to how much space they have outside.
The attention to high standards carries right through to the day the pigs leave the farm, among them aiming for a maximum journey time to the abattoir of four hours – half as long as accepted industry welfare guidelines. Our animal welfare standards are informed by ongoing research, with independent industry experts, into exactly what makes for a happy life for farm animals.
All Waitrose & Partners British pork goes to one dedicated processor, in a relationship that goes back more than 25 years. This whole supply chain approach has resulted in Waitrose & Partners holding Compassion in World Farming’s Good Pig Award every year since 2012.
essential Waitrose British pork
All essential Waitrose fresh pork, including sausages, bacon, ham and gammon, comes from British outdoor-bred pigs. All Waitrose & Partners sows live outdoors, free to roam in large paddocks with access to straw-bedded arcs or tents. All our pigs have access to fresh straw, allowing them the freedom to create a comfy, warm bed. Pigs are born outside and live with the sow outdoors until they’re weaned at around four weeks old. They’re then moved to bright, airy, straw-bedded barns and are fed a cereal-based diet.
Waitrose & Partners free range British pork
We sell two different breeds of free-range pork products - Hampshire sired and Gloucestershire Old Spot sired. All our free range farms rear pigs exclusively for Waitrose & Partners and work within producer groups to ensure that they meet standards of animal welfare and animal husbandry. As with essential Waitrose pork, all sows are outdoors for their entire lives with straw-filled arcs or tents for shelter and are given their own hut for raising their litter until weaning at four weeks old. The growing pigs are raised outdoors in paddocks with room to roam. The animals have a minimum of 36 square metres each.
Waitrose Duchy Organic British pork
Our organic pork comes from farms in Yorkshire and Norfolk, where the pigs are fed an organic diet and allowed to roam freely on land farmed to organic standards. These pigs have the same high welfare standards as free-range pigs, but are raised to approved organic requirements and the farms are independently accredited.
Waitrose & Partners Hampshire sired free range pork
Our Hampshire-sired free-range pork is reared on a limited number of specialist farms based in Norfolk, Suffolk and Wiltshire and is produced from pigs sired by Pedigree Hampshire boars. Hampshire pork is renowned for its succulence tenderness and superb flavour.
Waitrose & Partners Gloucestershire Old Spot sired free range pork
Gloucestershire Old Spot-sired free range pork is reared exclusively for our customers from a farm in Wiltshire. The meat comes from pigs sired by Pedigree Gloucester Old Spot boars. The pork is highly marbled with fat, which means it’s juicy, tasty and wonderfully succulent. Gloucestershire Old Spot-sired free range pork can be found in our pre-pack bacon and sausages on the service meat counter in selected branches.
All our continental own-label meats such as pâté, Spanish chorizo, German salami, Italian Parma ham and prosciutto are supplied by UK-based wholesal company Winterbotham Darby. Their pork scheme exceeds European legislation on animal welfare standards. It has developed the first pan-European welfare standard, taking into account free farrowing, increased space and a stimulating environment throughout the supply chain, all of which won it a special recognition award from Compassion in World Farming's Good Pig Award in 2018.
Why we've reduced nitrites in bacon and gammon
"According to recommendations from the World Health Organization, we should all limit our consumption of processed meat due to it containing nitrites, plus increased levels of salt and fat," says Partner and senior nutritionist Joanne Lunn.
"However, nitrites are also responsible for producing bacon's characteristic flavour, texture, taste and colour. If you remove completely then you simply end up with salty pork.
"We have reduced levels by up to 60% across all own-brand bacon and gammon, which is an industry-leading position. We know that many of our customers want to continue eating bacon occasionally as part of a healthy balanced diet, and this change will enable them to do so while limiting their exposure."