There has been considerable publicity and media attention on the ways that chicken is farmed. I was fortunate to able to visit the farms that supply the Asda Free Range chicken.

The birds are housed in a series of small arcs with access to the fields via large ‘pop holes’. The farmer has additionally added plastic sheeting which allows natural light through. Inside the arcs there are perches and ample breeding materials.

So if you are wondering what’s behind the Free Range label here’s the production system.

Posted by Chris on 02 January 2012

ASDA is committed to the sustainable use of fisheries resources. To assist us in this, we have partnered with a leading fisheries organisation the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. All our chilled fish suppliers are now assessing their fish sourcing with an external evaluation organisation, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

Asda and SFP

Asda is supporting SFP programmes at a global and regional level, for example:

  • We have spent the last 12-18 months accurately identifying our source fisheries and require our suppliers to report the volumes of product supplied at the resolution of specific source fisheries (e.g. species, gear, jurisdiction).
  • We are using SFP’s Sustainable Seafood Metrics to evaluate our source fisheries and have held workshops with our suppliers to ensure they understand we view them as partners in this process and are aware that the system requires accurate and regular data inputs (metrics does not replace legal obligations re traceability and the accuracy of these data requires internal due diligence).

Read more about how we source fish sustainably
Posted by Chris on 01 November 2011

This week George picked up the RSPCA’s Large Company award in the RSPCA Good Business Awards 2011.

RSPCA Good Business Awards 2011

We are a value brand and if we can take animal welfare seriously, so can all the big retailers. We could make better margins if we compromised our principles but our commitment shows that big companies can do innovative things too – and its important – because what we do has a big impact on animal welfare.

Our traceability is driven by asking the right questions – which sounds easy but it is these unglamourous hard yards – which involves talking to suppliers, convincing them that we are serious – is the most important step to take.

And this is what consumers should be doing – asking questions – because our commitment to animal welfare is driven by consumer demand. Customers are looking for assurances and the worst position for a retailer to be in is if you can’t answer questions – so we need to have the answers and this drives us forward.

And our customers wouldn’t expect us to have different policies for our food and fashion sourcing yet although animal welfare is seen as important in food, people are still surprised that it is an issue in clothes. And it is win win for us because we have been able to integrate our Asda food and George fashion sourcing – for instance next year we will introduce a leather shoe sourced from UK farms – which is a by-product of food that is also sold in our stores.

Posted by Chris on 07 October 2011

Asda and LEAF have produced the Simply Sustainable Soils guide. This gives farmers advice on soil texture, structure, drainage, compaction, nutrients and biological health.


The effects of climate change including drier summers, milder winters and rising sea levels present a high risk to the stability of our soil.

How farmers manage their soil is critical to help reduce the effects of these changes, which is why they need practical and realistic ways to make their farming systems more robust. ‘ňúSimply Sustainable Soils’ will help make these changes a reality, bringing about meaningful changes on the ground.

The guide is useful for anyone wanting to assess and manage their soils.

Posted by Chris on 23 May 2011

ASDA is committed to ensuring the humane treatment of animals used in our products.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has supported the use of CCTV in abattoirs and we are requiring that these are installed by those that supply us.

The CCTV equipment will be installed by the end of 2011.

The majority of ASDA fresh meat already comes from CCTV installed abattoirs.

Posted by Chris on 11 February 2011