Smithfield Foods works closely with its EU- and US-based suppliers who provide fresh and processed meats to the UK to ensure that all the appropriate welfare and quality standards are achieved and maintained. Our supply base is regularly audited by internal and external experts and non-conformances are addressed as soon as they are identified.
Farm Standards and Animal Welfare
Our European ‘UK welfare standard’ pig farms meet UK farm assurance standards and additionally abide with the legal requirements of the local country of production. We are not afraid to change local practices to raise standards. Within our fresh pork offering, our Polish farms and suppliers do not routinely dock tails or clip teeth, and only do this if absolutely necessary to reduce animal suffering. In addition, all our pigs destined for the UK are finished in deep straw, giving them a more comfortable environment.
We are always seeking to identify additional opportunities where we can work with our suppliers to further exceed current EU animal welfare and farm standards, taking best practice from excelling EU countries.
All of our Smithfield controlled EU & US farms are IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) compliant and take an integrated approach to controlling the environmental impacts on air land and water of emissions arising from their production facilities.
Technical Services and Monitoring
Our highly qualified Technical Team, based in the UK, provides guidance and support to all our EU & US suppliers in the management of the quality standards required to supply meat/meat products to the UK market. They ensure that our internal quality standards are maintained throughout all stages of the supply chain, so if a problem is identified it can be dealt with quickly. Each of our suppliers has also got dedicated technical teams to ensure on-site compliance with our food safety and testing policies.
In addition to inspections by local vets in each country, our fully trained and experienced welfare officers, based in the UK, carry out regular site audits and inspections to ensure the farm standards programme is being adhered to and that all sites remain fully compliant. Independent industry-recognised auditing companies such as Genesis and Integra also audit our farm assured farms, which are accredited to an independent UKAS accredited farm assurance scheme. UK farmers groups and our customers have also inspected some of our Polish farms.
Health and Safety
All Smithfield Foods products that are currently supplied, and all new products developed for the UK market, comply with EU legislation and standards for food safety. All the production sites are certified by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and International Food Standard (IFS), which are recognised standards for food safety. Only companies that meet these standards are admitted as suppliers to the major UK retailers.
Close supervision of meat production, control over processing technology and final products are paramount. The detailed HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) system ensures the optimal safety of products to the consumer. This systematic approach to food safety addresses all the physical, chemical and biological hazards as a preventative measure rather than relying on finished product inspection. HACCP is used in Smithfield suppliers to identify all the potential hazards so that key actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk entirely. The system is used at all stages of food production including processing, packaging and distribution. It is internationally recognised as a logical tool for undertaking science-based food safety evaluations based on risk assessment and prevention rather than traditional produce and test methods which are less appropriate for perishable food items.
Smithfield Foods Ltd is proud of their “farm to fork” traceability system in all our farms whereby, through a system of coding, we can trace the process from live animal to finished product. This traceability programme is verified as part of BRC and IFS inspections.