Co-operative rolls out higher welfare standard

The Co-operative is rolling out its Elmwood higher-welfare standard to its flavoured ready-to-eat chicken range.

The retailer’s plain ready-to-eat chicken range already meets the Elmwood criteria. The flavoured varieties, which include Garlic & Herb Chicken Thighs and Chinese Chicken Kebabs, will convert to Elmwood from 7 July 2010.

All Co-operative fresh whole chickens were converted to the higher-welfare Elmwood standard or above in October 2007, and the initiative was rolled out to include all own-brand fresh plain chicken fillets and pieces in 2008, followed by all fresh and frozen Co-operative seasonal barbecue chicken products and fresh turkeys and crowns in 2009, and all fresh plain turkey products earlier this year.

The Co-operative said the move to roll out the Elmwood standard was in line with its Food Ethical Policy, which was launched in February 2008, based on the responses of more than 100,000 customer-members across the UK. Animal welfare emerged as one of the main areas that members wished to see prioritised by the business.

The Co-operative has selected a group of British poultry farmers to embrace its own higher-welfare and quality standards.