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Responsible sourcing

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.

Tier 2

In Business Benchmark on farm animal welfare (BBFAW)

100 %


100 %



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.

100% of our wild-caught fish is MSC certified so that we can ensure we’re supporting sustainble fishing practises from fishery to fork. Each year we’re independantly audited to ensure that we’re transparent with the MSC label across our menus and can gain Chain of Custody MSC status

All of our whole shell eggs are cage-free and lion marked to ensure the birds are well looked after and we have a target for all our liquid eggs to be cage free by 2025.

We became RSPO members in 2020 and we work hard to ensure our suppliers are using RSPO certified palm oil in any products that contain palm oil. This certification supports sustainable palm oil production and supply. We are relatively low users of palm oil but we are still striving to support sustainable supply.

At Whitbread, we become the first budget hotel chain to join Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to support sustainable cotton farming. This year we’re working hard to source through BCI for all our laundered cotton – something that’s not been done before.

All of our beef is sourced from the UK and Ireland meaning we can support local farmers to supply our much loved steaks. All British steaks are sourced through Red Tractor farmers to maintain high sustainability, farming and animal welfare standards.

We require all of of our suppliers to provide us with FSC or PEFC certified timber and paper products through our timber policy as well as ensuring they are all working in line with the EU Timber Regulations. This supports sustainable forestry at the source and ensures that timber is not sourced from areas of deforestation.

Animal Welfare

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: 

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour 
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area 
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment 
  4. Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind 
  5. 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

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