I am absolutely delighted to be able to say that from today Co-op will be the only major UK food retailer to stock 100% British fresh meat – something no other major UK retailer can say. 

And when I say 100%, I mean 100%. From our pork pies, to our tikka chicken masala ready meals, from our lamb chops to our beef rogan josh, from our scotch eggs to the bacon in our BLT – all will use British meat. 

Like many supermarkets, we already sell a lot of British fresh meat. Our beef, chicken, ham, sausages, duck, and turkey are all British, but from today we are adding 365 days a year, bacon and lamb to our 100% British commitment. That’s for everything from sandwiches, to ready meals to fresh meat.

That makes the Co-op true pioneers, because no other major British retailer can say this, and that makes me really proud.

It’s a surprise to most people, but meat imports into the UK have doubled over the last 20 years hitting over £6.2bn.  As a retailer that is passionate about supporting local communities and our desire to demonstrate our support to our British Farmers, we felt it important to play our part in addressing the balance.

Because we are owned by our members, we can make these decisions – ones we’ve been making for nearly 180 years. From leading the way in Fairtrade to championing The One Water Foundation, we have a proud history in doing the right thing for communities home and abroad.

I hope others will join us in our latest championing move; but for now, let’s just say I’m so proud our Co-op is leading the charge in its move to being 100% committed 100% of the time.

Join Us and together we can all support British Farmers.

 Jo Whitfield
Co-op Food CEO (Interim)

Join the conversation! 93 Comments

  1. Talk about ‘hiding behind’ British meat label which does NOT assure that the animals are humanely slaughtered!! Veterinarian Organizations have repeatedly declared that the “recoverable stun” is as cruel & barbaric as non stun & ALL your meat & poultry is slaughtered these disgusting cruel methods.
    If you don’t think recoverable stun is barbaric I suggest that next time you go to hospital for surgery you have a sedative that lasts 15-20 seconds,whilst doctors strap you to the table.Then when you come round,they start surgery WITHOUT anaesthetic!!!

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    • Well said. The Coop stated at the beginning of this post some months ago that their meat is not halal certified but when I said that could mean that the meat is still halal approved they have stopped answering. This was a case of outright deception as certified and approved mean different things but still mean halal.
      This whole thing has caused me to become nearly vegetarian now. On the rare occasions I feel tempted to buy meat I only buy it in Lidyl as they are the only supermarket that clearly mark their meat as halal or not.
      Halal certified as compared to halal approved just means that there is a 2.5% tax on the goods which Islam is paid and goes to 8 nominated Islamic charities, 1 of which supports unpaid terrorists and the other which funds (bribes) those converted to Islam. It is a multi billion pound business, I call it fraud.
      Nestles, Kellogg’s and other brands are halal certified but there is nothing marked on the products and that is why there has been a nationwide boycott of their goods. As far as I’m concerned it is just a massive scam.
      Our government supports Islam by not giving us a choice because they refuse to legislate on these matters.

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  2. Hi again co-op. I see you have not answered what type of stun is used or whether the animals receive a religious blessing prior to slaughter. Most slaughterhouses in Britain religiously slaughter their animals. This is the method adopted for Halal certification. Many of these religiously slaughtered animals then fail the very strict conditions to be Halal certified so are then sold cheaply in stealth to the unwitting public as not Halal. It really doesn’t matter where you source your meat from if the method of slaughter used is the recoverable stun for Halal. You can confidently say your meat is not Halal because it hasn’t been Halal certified after slaughter. The animal has still had to go through the Halal method of slaughter though. I, and many others will not be using co-op unless your animals receive a full captive bolt stun prior to slaughter.

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  3. Co-op I want to be able to tell from your labelling if the meat I am buying is from an animal which has received a full stun and has not had a prayer said over it, I do not want to eat animals who have been religiously slaughtered, I am lobbying my MP as I believe that consumers have the right to know if animals have been made to suffer, I believe RS is disgusting and medieval and does not belong in the United Kingdom

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  4. Hi co-op. Can you confirm what type of stun is used before slaughter? Saying that animals are humanely slaughtered is not good enough I’m afraid. If a recoverable stun is used then this method is not humane and will most certainly guarantee the animal has received a religious blessing. Produce not passed for Halal certification is sold in stealth to the unwitting public despite still receiving a religious blessing and being conscious at the time of slaughter. Can you guarantee what type of stun is used?

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  5. Can you also please assure me that your 100% British meat is stun slaughtered. I cannot and will not buy non stun or partial stun meat.
    Looking forward to hearing from you

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  6. I will do all my shopping in your stores when you stop selling halal-certified goods and halal-slaughtered meat.

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  7. Thats absolutely great Co-Op but why don’t you give people what they really want, meat that is not religiously slaughtered? The very least you could do is to label it halal/kosher so your customers have a choice! You are selling halal/kosher meat by stealth which is morally wrong but hey you do not give a damn what your customers tell you?

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    • This is Britain, 99.9% of people are offended and don’t want religiously slaughtered meat.
      Respect for all British meat, now earn total respect and stop the religiously tortured and killed animals.

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  8. If your own brand meat is non halal, does that go for Kosher too? And why don’t the slaughterhouses you use bolt the animal dead instantly.Why only stun them which enables them to recover after 20 seconds or so? There is something fishy going on if they’re only stunned…I’m sure the wording in your replies (CO-OP) doesn’t tell the whole truth.

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  9. It may have union flags plastered all over it and Red Tractors but it’s from Dunbia Slaughter House 9012
    No thank you. Co op

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  10. Not buying from you until you at least LABEL meat that is Halal. Will never support this vile and evil slaughter practice and as a Buddhist, refuse to eat anything that has had other Mumbo Jumbo said over it.

    It is obvious that you do not consider other faiths on a balanced view.

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  11. It would be really brilliant if you could label ALL your meat ‘Halal’ or ‘Non-Halal/Haram’. Simple enough request?

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  12. If only the Co-Op could guarantee the meat was 100% NOT halal or kosher. If they did and could prove it their meat sales would go through the roof.

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  13. I would like to know if the animals are slaughtered by full captive bolt rather than recoverable stun. With RS the animal gains consciousness and is slaughtered at this point. It can take quite a few minutes to die. The British Veterinary Association condemns this practice as it causes unnecessary suffering. Dunbia use this method.

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  14. […] our commitment to 100% British fresh meat to our frozen meat […]

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  15. Hello there.

    My name is James Bond. I used to work at the Co-op pharmacy in Ormskirk between September 1991-June 1992.

    If you speak to your colleagues in Sheffield they will tell you that I am one of their best customes. I am a vegetarian going on vegan. I am also a 2nd generation ethnic minority of Indian Hindu background (non practising.) Can I have an assurance that if you do supply any Halal or Kosher certified meat that it is clearly labelled as coming from a Halal or Kosher source? The reason i ask is because it strictly forbidden (for religious reasons) for a Hindu or Sikh or Buddhist to consume any Halal product.

    Kind regards
    James Bond

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    • Hi. In my investigations it appears that nearly all New Zealand lamb and chicken is mostly halal as that is the Muslims preferred meat. The only supermarket that clearly marks their meat as being halal is Lidyl, most supermarkets don’t mark whether it is halal or not. The Coop did state that none of their meat is halal certified and I did point out to them that is different to being halal approved but they never got back to me. It is a statement that is completely misleading.

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  16. I have been informed that it is extremely difficult to buy non-halal poultry or New Zealand lamb in any supermarket due to them both being more a consumed by the muslim. I have seen replies by the Co-op stating all their meat is not halal certified which is a different thing altogether to being halal and very misleading, it is still halal. There is a boycott of Nestle as so many of their products, Nescafé for example, are certified which means 2.5% of the price goes to Islam and one of their charities is ‘fighting for Allah’

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  17. Ban all halal meat please. It’s not British. Nor ethical. Members should be able to vote on the issue.

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    • There are at least 3 million (2011) muslims in Britain. Furthermore, 50% of these muslims were born in Britain. So they ARE British!

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      • Muslims are 5% of the population so why should we have to have halal meat? Even worse, boycott all halal certified as the company pay 2.5 % tax to the Arabs for this and it funds terrorism for all we know.

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      • We are talking about the meat being British, the birthplace of the people eating it Is irrelevant.

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      • I couldn’t really care if they were British or not. Halal is barbaric and a disgusting way to kill any animal. It belongs in the stone ages.

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        • No Co-op branded meat is halal. We do sell some branded Halal certified meat in a small number of stores where there is sufficient demand, but this is all pre-stunned prior to slaughter. ^Siobhan

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          • Pre-Stunned is a ‘cop out’, this is a recoverable stun, simply to immobilise the animal while it is strung up. The animal recovers and is fully conscious and aware when it’s throat is cut and it is left to ‘bleed out’, totally barbaric. A full captive bolt stun, is the only way to ensure the animal is fully unconscious and pain free throughout the process!

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          • Go 100% NO HALLAH MEATS and we will come back in our droves, no matter what the government is trying to say, ANIMALS feel pain, we all know that, they need a stress free non painful death

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          • When you say pre stunned are you talking about a recoverable stun or is the animal fully stunned with a non recoverable stun by captive bolt. ? Are prayers said during the slaughter? Is ALL meat from religiously slaughtered animals labelled as such? I’m afraid that too many people are aware of the deviousness and deceit practised by supermarkets. I do not wish to eat any meat which gas been religiously slaughtered and without being fully stunned with a non recoverable stun.
            It is illegal to lie about this.

            (“𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗹/𝗞𝗼𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗶𝘀/𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗹/𝗞𝗼𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝟭𝟰 (𝟭) 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗦𝗮𝗳𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗔𝗰𝘁 𝟭𝟵𝟵𝟬 (𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱) 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗿 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱.”
            Source:
            LEGISLATION.GOV.UK
            Food Safety Act 1990

            So please answer my questions fully and honestly

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      • I don’t care whether they’re British or not, halal is barbaric.

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    • I do shop in the coop but I will continue to buy my meat from Lidl as they are the only shop that clearly marks their meat as halal or not. Halal Certification, such as Nestle, denotes that 2.5 % tax included in the price goes to Islamic ‘charities’. It is important to note they do not list these so-called charities but it goes to the Islamics

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  18. As your not really answering the halal question. Does any of your meat have a prayer said over it?

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  19. So many uneducated comments, people opposing halal but still consuming electrocuted/stunned meat. The irony. Bigots should just stop hiding behind animal welfare and realise how backward and uncultured they are. It’s not “Islamification” but solely a matter of profit and business. Something Co-op will soon realise.

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  20. […] Read more from Jo Whitfield; We’re covering the ‘Tampon tax’ We are going 100% committed […]

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  21. Very disturbed to see a claim / report that Co-op meat is in effect Halal see: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=562489880765941&id=124527671228833
    Coop fresh red meat.
    All slaughterhouse code 9012 which is Dunbia in Ireland a halal plant.
    Please could you advise as this is very disturbing and contrary to previous Co-op statements?

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    • Hi Deborah, this is not correct. Some abattoirs offer both halal and non-halal meat and poultry. No Co-op branded meat or poultry is halal. ^Jordan

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  22. Online nonveg shopping is really good.I always shop nonveg online because it save my time and money.I always shop from eZeelo.com and it is good.

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  23. Since discovering that halal certification is a massive money making industry with funds used to spread Islam, I will no longer be buying ANY product that has halal certification logos.

    As you can tell, from the Tesco Christmas ad, many people are upset at slowly being forced into consuming halal products. We are looking for alternatives and we want to make make conscious decisions on our purchases.

    As the Halal certification process leaves a lot to be desired, can you please either post or describe what the halal cerfication logo looks like?

    Or will these products be very clearly marked on shelves, or kept separate.

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    • I know for a fact that all Nescafé coffee is halal certified and that has no markings on it all relating to halal. This 2.5 tax is sent to Islam charities, one of which is ‘fighting for Allah’. Facebook members have been highlighting this and are boycotting Warburtons, Kellogg’s, Nescafé and Campbell’s because of this tax called Zakat. It is worth billions overall worldwide. The Great British public are being duped, especially as it is not labelled.

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    • Most products are unlabelled. You won’t find anything on a jar of Nescafé or a Cadbury’s Cream Egg for example. There is a very comprehensive website you can go to which is boycotthalal dot com. It shows how on meat there are 4 numbers you need to look for but they differ according to the supermarket or abattoir used. It’s a minefield.

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  24. I will be doing ALL my meat shopping at the co op from now on.Not only because it is all British meat, but also because it is non halal.And the halal meat that co op sells is clearly labled. At last a supermarket l can trust to promote British Farmers.

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    • Good to have you with us, Fran. ^Ian

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    • Fran Darlow, you are mistaken, unfortunately, there is currently no legal reason to label halal meat. The majority of meat sold in supermarkets comes from halal slaughterhouses. Check the EU/UK codes on packs which tell you which slaughterhouse the meat comes from, and join the growing number of people waking up to this issue.

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    • Sorry to have to inform you that sadly you are so wrong. They are selling you meat that is “Haram”
      Either rejected or over produced Halal meat by stealth.

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  25. I understand that halal is not stunned and is only allowed if it is for religious reasons, then surely this is abusing the law, the majority of meat is bought by the non religious. Can you guarantee the coop does not sell its majority of meat to a religious following ,, and if sold in the Coop it is labelled halal.

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    • Hi Janet. All Co-op own-brand fresh and frozen meat and poultry sold has been humanely stunned prior to slaughter, and all abattoirs and processing plants supplying our own-brand products are required to work to the standards laid down by our strict animal welfare requirements as well as the Humane Slaughter Association in their Codes of Practice.

      We do sell some branded Halal certified meat in a small number of stores where there is sufficient demand, but again this is all pre-stunned prior to slaughter. Thanks, ^Scott

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      • Co-op whay don’t you clearly and honestly make the stement “NO RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER METHODS/PROCESSES WERE CONDUCTED AT THE UK ABATTOIR AT THE TIME OF SLAUGHTER ON ANY Co-op Meat/Poultry?

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        • I am a 2nd generation Indian Hindu and I am a regular shopper at 3 co-op branches. I am a vegetarian going on vegan. It is strictly forbidden for some Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians to consume any halal or kosher certified product or religiously slaughtered meat. Without clear prominent labelling we could be consuming it without knowing. All we are asking for is clear labelling to make an informed choice. That’s all we are asking for. On your own brands just to write if it’s halal or kosher certified or religiously slaughtered. I have sometimes felt physically sick when I have consumed a halal certified product (like certain loaves of bread) without my knowing.

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  26. […] we’re backing British farmers by selling only British fresh meat all year round. The same goes for the meat in all of our Co-op […]

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  27. This is great news – but the really important issue is whether of not the meat is non-Halal and there seems to be no information about this.

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    • Hi Pat. All Co-op own-brand fresh and frozen meat and poultry sold has been humanely stunned prior to slaughter, and all abattoirs and processing plants supplying our own-brand products are required to work to the standards laid down by our strict animal welfare requirements as well as the Humane Slaughter Association in their Codes of Practice.

      We do sell some branded Halal certified meat in a small number of stores where there is sufficient demand, but again this is all pre-stunned prior to slaughter. Thanks, ^Scott

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  28. I have been a coop shopper and member for quite a few years now. I like very much how ethical they are with their products! How ever as a vegan of 5 years now there is not very much choice with ready made vegan meals at our local coop in Leicester which is why I have to shop elsewhere for these products! It would be great to have some coop own brand vegan meals available! Its good to see dairy free choices of plant milk but would like to be able to buy vegan cheeses and dairy free spreads too!

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  29. […] the Cooperative has taken steps to ensure that all its own brand meat products are sourced from British farms. Not just raw meat, but their pork pies, ready meals, sandwich meats, bacon. All meat, […]

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  30. Just for the sake of clarity – When you say British are you talking Great Britain (excluding N Ireland) or UK (Eng, Wales, Scotland, NI) or even British Isles (including Eire, Isle of Man and Channel Islands)?

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  31. ..yes, British meat…but….Halal and the like are widespread in the U.K….England, so although it is British, it can still be Halal religion.

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  32. Can you confirm that your own brand meat is non halal

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  33. When will you extend this to Sugar? I support the Fair Trade scheme for items such as coffee and bananas which can’t be grown in this country, but what’s fair about not being able to buy British sugar ? – Please give us the choice.

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  34. Good to see that you are supporting British Farmers. Your next step is to 100% source from High Welfare Scheme members, as you do with your Egg sales and some Fresh Pork. The so called Red Tractor Assurance scheme is an audit on what farms should comply with anyway.
    Lets be one jump above the rest before other retailers beat us to it..

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  35. Delighted that you are supporting our British Farmers. This is really good news. Morrisons give customers the option of paying a few pence more for milk and the extra goes directly to our Dairy farmers. I always take this option when I can and would be happy to do the same when I shop in our local Co-op, if the choice was there, sadly it is not at the moment.

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  36. I’m afraid I only buy meat from the local butcher. This is because he guarantees that his meat is locally sourced and has been slaughtered humanely. There should be clear labelling to inform shoppers precisely where their meat comes from, and whether the animals have been killed by halal ritual or by more conventional slaughterhouse methods.

    Of course supermarkets must cater for all their customers, but that should not be an excuse for failing to provide informed choice – both for those who want halal meat and those who don’t.

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  37. YES Support our farmers all the way.

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  38. This is good news and a great start. Now we need to push to all food sources being guaranteed Non-GMO.

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  39. This is great news for British farmers. Does the Co-op have any plans to only sell meat that isn’t slaughtered under the religious slaughter exemption, to ensure that welfare at time of killing is as high as possible? If not would you be willing to be the first group to actively label meat products that have been religiously slaughtered and allow customers to decide for themselves?

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  40. Excellent news. Will frozen meals and meat be British too ? The next step should be British cheese from British milk used in ready meals. Is this possible?

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  41. What about Irish meat ? At the moment at least half my shop has British items boycotts work both ways but create losers on both sides

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    • Hi Stan, our 100% British meat sourcing commitment sees the Co-op change from Danish bacon and New Zealand lamb to British. We haven’t sourced own brand fresh meat from Ireland for many years. Our commitment is not targeted against Ireland or linked to EU negotiations. We trade wholly in the UK and as a co-operative owned by members in the UK we are continuing our policy to support local communities, including farmers, and is in response to our members telling us that British sourcing is important to them. ^Catherine

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  42. Please confirm: does “British fresh meat” mean that all animals are born and raised in Britain, and slaughtered (humanely) at approved British abattoirs?

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    • Sis you get a response to this question please. I’m trying to find out the same thing

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      • No, no response at all, which I found disappointing. It was a very serious question as producers of meat products can label them British if made here, in spite of ingredients coming from other countries. Additionally, “British farmers” may have imported stock – hence why I want confirmation that all meat used from British farmers is ONLY from animals born and raised in Britain. Similarly, are all slaughtered at approved British abattoirs? I expected (hoped for) an immediate Yes to all parts of my question.. No reply has left me suspicious.

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  43. It’s amazing that ALL products with meat will be British – well done! As a member of our National Council I was recently asked by a member whether we have any plans to expand our range of lamb as he would like to have a wider choice of cuts. Maybe something we could look at Jo?

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  44. Great news for our farmers

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