Animal welfare

Blue cloudy sky with a field of black and brown cows with tags.

Loblaw is one of Canada’s largest buyers and sellers of meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Our customers look to us to ensure the food they purchase is safe, high quality, responsibly sourced and produced in a humane way.

The welfare of animals raised for food is important to us and our customers. As Loblaw is not directly involved in raising or processing animals, we look to our suppliers to ensure that the animals they raise are treated in accordance with government and industry-accepted guidelines for humane treatment.

Animal Welfare Principles

We remain committed to tackling animal welfare issues and recognize that there is more to do. In collaboration with our vendor partners Loblaw has made important progress in some key areas, including: 

  • Sourcing all fresh veal from loose housing systems as of 2018  

  • Transitioned all PC shell eggs to Cage Free as of 2019 

  • Sourcing approximately 40% of fresh Free From pork from farms using loose housing for pregnant sows by 2021 and working with suppliers to achieve 100% as soon as practicable 

We also believe in a science-based approach.

To that end, Loblaw seeks advice from scientific advisors on animal welfare standards and best practices, and since 2011 has remained an active associate member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) – a multi-stakeholder forum and national leader on farm animal care and welfare standards.  Loblaw is a strong supporter of NFACC’s process and approach. Loblaw looks to have all our suppliers engaged and supportive of advancing animal welfare.  

Loblaw Goals for Improving Animal Welfare:  

  • Engage with and support the NFACC in developing national Codes for farm animal care and welfare which are based on science and reflect the values of Canadian consumers 

  • Encourage our suppliers to adopt best practices for animal treatment and conduct second or third-party verification  

  • Report regularly on the progress being made with regard to animal welfare, including through our annual CSR report. 

  • Fund relevant research projects to improve animal production practices and identify public concerns  

  • Stay attuned to new technologies developed to advance animal welfare  

Update on egg and pork commitments

In 2013, we announced our goal of sourcing all fresh pork from systems using group-housing for pregnant sows by 2022, and in 2016 we also announced our goal of sourcing all shell eggs from cage-free systems by 2025.

Since these announcements, we have worked with our suppliers to achieve these targets. Unfortunately, it has become clear that our farmer partners are unable to meet these timelines. While we are proud of the progress we have made, including converting all President’s Choice shell eggs to cage-free and converting approximately 30% of fresh PC Free From pork to group housing for gestating sows, we are disappointed that we will not complete the work by the original target dates.

We continue to work with our egg and pork partners to make progress on conversions and we will report on the progress we make through our annual CSR Report. We are also working to support NFACC regarding appropriate updates to the codes of practice for pigs and laying hens.

Red house on a farm with animals in the background.

Have responsibility questions?

Contact us

csr@loblaw.ca

As a part of our culture of integrity, it is important that non-compliant and unethical matters are reported.

Call the Integrity Action Line: 1-800-525-7868 (available in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Spanish and Korean languages); or visit www.integrityactionline.com (available in English, French and Spanish languages).

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