With many customers feeling the pinch, buying free range can seem too pricey for many shoppers.
So Tesco has been working with pig farmer and presenter, Jimmy Doherty, to try and bring about a revolution in higher welfare meat - to produce higher welfare products at affordable own brand prices.
In a new series for Channel 4 Jimmy seeks out affordable, high quality cuts of meat from animals raised to high welfare standards. He finds it very difficult but finds creative ways of keeping the prices low for Tesco customers.
As a result we’ve got two fantastic new products on our shelves, higher welfare sausages and free range chicken kievs. Like all of our own brand products, they had to pass a customer panel first because it’s you, not us, who decides what makes it onto our shelves.
We’re always looking to give you more choice and top quality products. We hope this series will give viewers a better understanding of how meat is produced and we’re pleased that as a result of our work with Jimmy we can now offer our customers higher welfare options even when their budgets are tight.
High welfare own-brand chicken kievs and sausages
This is the first mass-market free range chicken kiev in the UK and it’s already one of our best sellers. The new higher welfare kievs and sausages are available in selected stores across the country.
Animal welfare is very important to us. Tesco standards on meat are higher than the minimum legislative standards and we carry out inspections across our farms regularly. Although it was sometimes nerve-wracking to be in front of the TV cameras, we were delighted to be able to take part in a project that means that more people can access higher welfare meat.
In the series, Jimmy highlights an issue in the dairy industry. There is still a stigma associated with veal from the 1980s when veal crates were used to transport veal to the EU. Laws have since come in to change this but the market remains small in the UK. So many farmers have no option but to slaughter their male calves shortly after birth.
We want to do whatever we can to prevent this waste. We plan to start selling British rose veal in our stores from the beginning of next year. It will take 8 months to rear the calves. We hope to show customers that British rose veal is a great source of great quality, higher welfare, flavoursome meat - a brilliant alternative to beef or chicken on their plates! We will give you some recipe tips as soon as it’s on our shelves.