Animal Welfare

We want Waitrose customers to know that the meat and animal produce they buy has been sourced from animals reared to the highest standards of care and welfare by dedicated farmers who share our values. 

Cows grazing

Raising Standards

Our Agriculture Manager, in conjunction with the Waitrose Farming Partnership Livestock Steering Group (WFP-LSG), is charged with the overall responsibility for animal welfare in the Waitrose Supply Chain.  The Steering Group comprises livestock experts from Waitrose and its dedicated suppliers.  Regular farm-level welfare performance reports, verified by third parties are presented to the group so that improvement plans can be carried out where required. 

For example, we now assure a minimum standard for farmers that conventional dairy cows (producing non-organic milk) must spend at least 100 days outside grazing in fields.  

Find out more about how our work with our dedicated chicken supplier is combating the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK in Safe Products.

For the second year, Waitrose has attained tier 1 ranking in the annual Global Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW). We aim to maintain this and will continue to work closely with CIWF and other partners to address specific industry-wide welfare issues.

Find out more about our specific policies for animal welfare, including species specific standards on

Leading the Industry

We work closely with our farmers to ensure that all the livestock that provides us with meat, eggs, milk and other products are reared to the highest welfare standards – exceeding legislation.  In recognition of this in 2015, we won The Compassion in World Farming Retailer of the Year Award for the fifth time.

With rising public concern for animal welfare, we are setting a benchmark for the industry in our approach to being open and transparent about our livestock supply chain, and encouraging suppliers to meet our standards. Our long term relationships with farmers enables us to be the customer of choice in a changing marketplace.  It also helps us to take a long-term approach and invest in quality, provenance and higher welfare production systems.  All of our own-brand fresh beef, pork, chicken, eggs and milk are from UK farms.