As a large purchaser of animal products, Elior UK understand the effect we can have on animal welfare within our supply chain. We believe it is important to outline our animal welfare commitments and objectives to our consumers to show that we are working for better welfare throughout our supply chain.
Our animal welfare responsibilities and policies
Elior UK requires that all our suppliers comply with UK and EU animal welfare standards. Furthermore, we take our requirements in animal welfare further by adopting Red Tractor standards for fresh and frozen meat from UK suppliers. Red Tractor carries out independent audits of our company annually to ensure our practices meet the high standards required to allow us to continue to use the Red Tractor mark.
Where possible we aim to source locally and from the UK. When this is not possible we may need to source animal products from Europe, this is more common for authentic ingredients which our customers consider important. Bacon is often sourced from Denmark; this product is fully compliant with EU legislation and animal welfare in its respective country. Our meat and poultry catalogue identifies the origin of all cuts of meat and poultry and provides any accreditation it may have. In line with our animal welfare commitments, all suppliers must source their products from BRC accredited and EU licensed abattoirs.
Avoidance of Genetic Engineering, Cloning & use of Growth Promoters
Elior UK’s suppliers are not permitted to provide any products from farm animals that are subject to genetic engineering or cloning to any Elior site. The use of growth promoters is not permitted and genetic engineering or cloning of livestock is prohibited.
Avoidance of the Miss-Use of Antibiotics
Elior UK supports the responsible use of antibiotics and does not promote the routine, prophylactic use of antibiotics across our supplying farms. When antibiotics are required within our fresh meat supply chain they are only administered under professional veterinary supervision and guidance and a record of the type, dose and means of administering the antibiotic are all logged.
Elior recognises the synergy between good animal husbandry and the use of antibiotics as well as the importance of maintaining the integrity of all classes of antibiotics to support human and animal health. Antibiotics considered to be of critical importance to human health by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are only permitted if they are the sole therapeutic option. These include 3rd and 4th Generation Cephalosporin’s, Macrolides, Glycopeptides and Fluoroquinolones.
Elior UK recognises the importance of good animal husbandry throughout the entire life of an animal, including at slaughter. Elior believes that in order for slaughter to be deemed humane, an animal must die without unnecessary pain or distress. Whilst we promote stunning prior to slaughter as a preference, as a company Elior respects religious freedoms in markets where stunning is not commonly practised.
Elior requires all slaughterhouses in our supply chain to be effectively managed. All should have documented Standard Operating Procedures which detail:
- Standardised slaughter process
- Contingency plans for breakdowns on the line or other emergencies
- Maintenance and cleaning plans for all equipment
- Documented information on staff training and detail of staff responsibilities
- All staff involved in the slaughter process should have effective and necessary training
- Remedial action is taken in the instance of non-compliance of any of the Standard Operating Procedures.
Avoidance of Long Distance Live Transportation
Elior recognises there are key aspects of transporting animals that ensure good welfare dependant on species. As part of an ongoing commitment to animal welfare, Elior will continue to work with our suppliers to ensure the good welfare of all animals during transportation. As part of this commitment, Elior will ensure it is the policy that animals deemed sick or injured do not travel and where necessary are culled, by a qualified slaughter man, prior to leaving the farm. All drivers of vehicles used to transport animals will be adequately trained and handlers also trained appropriately. There will be no sue of electric goads to herd animals. All vehicles will be well maintained and will not be over-stocked to ensure animals are transported under conditions which will not cause unnecessary stress or suffering.
Objectives and targets for the management of farm animal welfare
Elior continues to monitor and set targets on animal welfare, in October 2016 Elior Group launched the Positive Foodprint Plan which includes set objectives to be achieved.
We are aiming to source 100% cage free eggs by 2025. All our shell eggs are Red Lion British Eggs, which come from hens that are kept in these higher welfare conditions. In the event of British eggs not being available or not meeting the required specification, we will source from alternative EU suppliers who conform to the EU 2012 Directive, which prohibits the use of battery cages for laying hens. We propose to report on our progress on this objective each year. Our purchasing of free range eggs increased from 36% in 2017 to 37% for whole/shell eggs in 2018 and for liquid eggs this incresed from 30% in 2017 to 35% in 2018 in the UK. We can now report that for 2019 our combined purchasing of free-range shell and liquid egg has increased to 48% across the business.
We are also committed to sourcing 100% sustainably sourced fish by 2025. In the UK we support the position stated by the Marine Conservation Society which places importance on maintaining a secure future for our living seas and to save our threatened marine wildlife before it becomes extinct. Elior UK requires that all our suppliers comply with the Marine Conservation Society Fish to Eat Guide, ensuring that species that are rated 4 (at risk) or 5 (endangered) are removed from our supply chain. Furthermore, specifically for farmed fish, it is a requirement that all seafood suppliers supply Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) accredited fish. Our current reports show that we are sourcing 100% sustainably sourced fresh fish (2018/19) and this will continue to be monitored within our supply chain and reported on each year.
Additionally, Foie Gras remains banned from our UK menus and is prohibited from entering the UK supply chain.
Communication and developments of our animal welfare policy
We make our policy available to all colleagues via the Elior UK extranet and publicly on our Elior UK website to view and share as appropriate.
The policy has been shared with our suppliers of fresh animal meat products to ensure compliance.
All suppliers will be questioned on their animal welfare commitments when applying to tender as Elior UK understand that animal welfare is a developing area and that there is always progress to be made. Our policy will be reviewed at least annually at Board level to judge its effectiveness and will be updated in accordance with changes to the law.
The Elior UK Purchasing Department is responsible for ensuring the products we purchase meet our animal welfare commitments. Specifically, the Senior Buyer for fresh produce is responsible for ensuring the fresh animal meat bought meets our animal welfare commitments. The Elior UK CSR Manager is responsible for the Elior UK CSR objectives.
Our updated Animal Welfare Policy will be published by the end of 2019.