Understanding where our products and services come from is necessary to ensure we are sourcing sustainably and respecting human rights throughout our supply chain. Our policies are crystal clear on this. We are incredibly proud of our strong supplier relationships and have clear and fair terms and conditions that we all work to.
In Business Benchmark on farm animal welfare (BBFAW)
IS MSC CERTIFIED
OF OUR WHOLE EGGS
We undertake significant due diligence on our suppliers, including a robust ethical audit programme to help confirm that all suppliers are working in-line with our minimum standards. We have a clear commitment to respect the human rights of workers across our supply chains which is why we risk assess 100% of suppliers in our business against our policies.
We regularly audit our suppliers for ethical, technical and animal welfare standards. We recognise that audits are just one part of responsible sourcing and we strive for ‘engagement over audit’. This means, in sectors of high risk, we work directly with the suppliers to drive industry change. We also have clear stages of due diligence from contractual minimum standards in our responsible sourcing policy to sector specific engagement programmes.
We have commodity specific sourcing policies for each of our key commodities which can be found here.
Animal welfare is crucially important to us as a business which means working with suppliers who can demonstrate their management of good animal welfare back to farms. We are proud to be a business that sets itself these high standards and who demonstrates a proactive approach to this issue. We have a dedicated policy manager who oversees our commitment to welfare and aims to drive progress annually.
As a purchaser of meat and meat products, we recognise that our influence must focus first and foremost on our direct suppliers. We are dedicated to working with suppliers who are committed to best practice in animal welfare management and will work with them to ensure that the right standards are being met.
Our Animal Welfare standards:
Across our businesses, we are committed to ensuring all our meat suppliers operate in conjunction with the ‘Five Freedoms’ principle proposed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC). These five freedoms mean that animals in the supply chain experience:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
- Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
The detailed standards we require all our meat suppliers to comply with are outlined in our Animal Welfare Policy. For each species that we source, we apply further standards specific to the needs of that animal. Please see here for a full list of our individual species policies.Animal Welfare Key Performance Indicators 2020
Ethical Audit Programme
Griffiths Family Farms Whitbread Egg Supplier: “We were one of the first suppliers to go through Whitbread’s responsible sourcing and audit programme and we approached it with total transparency. There were a number of areas that needed addressing, but rather than issue ultimatums and demand immediate corrections, the Whitbread team worked with us, really got to understand our business and have provided great support across a number of levels over the last three years. We have made major investment in new personnel and operational changes throughout our business, resulting in a cultural step change and significantly higher levels of staff engagement. This process has had a very positive impact across our business and Whitbread have played a major supporting role.”
We are proud to have invested in farmer communities in Pakistan supporting over 1,600 farmers in sustainable agriculture in partnership with CottonConnect, as well as becoming the first large, budget hotel chain to become Better Cotton Initiative members. Sourcing sustainable cotton is crucial to our responsible sourcing programme to ensure that all the products and people in our supply chains respect people and the planet. This is alongside all of our whole eggs being cage free, 100% of our wild-caught fish is MSC certified and we’re Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) members.
Meet our sustainable farmers – Michael
“Managing and ultimately minimising the environmental impact of farming is crucial for the future”
Liffey meats are one of our dedicated meat suppliers. They’re a fantastic partner for Whitbread as we can ensure the animals are treated fairly and the farming is sustainable from UK and Irish farmers. This is Michael Rynn from Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath. Michaels farm is just 20 minutes away from the Liffey factory. Michael said;
“I have supplied Liffey Meats for 17 years now, you have to be a member of The Sustainable Beef and Lamb assurance scheme (SBLAS) to supply cattle today, because managing and ultimately minimising the environmental impact of farming is crucial for the future
I am a great believer in letting Nature take its course, so I don`t use fertilisers, pesticides or spread slurry on my land, I apply some lime each year and that is it! I maintain the hedgerows where there are number of birds and small animals happily living together”