Farm animal welfare
Coles Brand’s animal welfare policies focus on reducing the number of products sourced from close confinement systems such as battery cages and sow stalls. Coles Brand fresh eggs have been cage free since January 2013 and Coles Brand fresh pork has been sow stall free since January 2014.
Coles’ approach to animal welfare for Coles Brand farmed animals is based around five freedoms:
- freedom from hunger and thirst;
- freedom from discomfort;
- freedom from pain, injury and disease;
- freedom to express (most) normal behaviour; and
- freedom from fear and distress.
This policy includes dairy, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, pigs and aquaculture species. The Coles Farm Program assessments provide consistent monitoring and maintenance of animal welfare standards.
A producer steering committee is in place for each key species to review Coles’ policies and the results from Coles Farm Program assessments.
All Coles Brand fresh pork, ham and bacon are sourced from farms that only use gestation stalls for a maximum of 24 hours as opposed to the industry standard of 10 days.
Coles free range pork is the only RSPCA Approved fresh pork stocked nationally by an Australian supermarket. A long term contract has allowed an increase in the number of RSPCA Approved pigs grown exclusively for Coles in Western Australia and an increase in farm employment.
All Coles Brand poultry has been exclusively sourced from RSPCA Approved farms since January 2014. In 2013, when Coles started its journey towards higher welfare chicken, less than five per cent of Australian chicken production was approved by the RSPCA. More than 70 per cent of national production now meets this higher welfare standard, as others in the industry and market have followed Coles' lead.