Coles supermarkets expands stall-free pork efforts

By J'nai Gaither on 11/11/2010

In an effort to enhance its animal welfare initiative, Coles supermarkets in Australia announced this week the company will now broaden sow-stall free pork to include all of its pork products and products from overseas beginning in the year 2014.

The company said in a statement it has notified its suppliers and is seeking their support.

"Coles is committed to ethical sourcing in our supply chain to meet increasing customer demand for best practice animal welfare standards," John Durkan, the company's merchandise director, said in a news release.

Durkan said the company's suppliers have agreed to the new protocol without any price increases for Australian consumers.

Lee McCosker, spokesperson for Humane Society International, told local media, “We do have some concerns that there will be some consumer backlash when they discover that sow stalls and farrowing crates are two different forms of confinement and that the latter has not been banned or even mentioned.”

There will be a move in the future to eradicate farrowing crates as well, one retailer said, but sow stalls are said to be a more pressing issue.

Along with its continued effort to sell only sow stall-free pork by 2014, Coles would also like their beef products to be hormone growth-promotant free by January of 2011.