Welfare Outcome Measures & Key Performance Measures

Tesco Retail UK

Our Reporting Approach

Customers expect great products and also expect us to take animal welfare seriously when sourcing these products. We are committed to working responsibly in this area and will continue to make progress by supporting best practice in our supply chains. Our Tesco Welfare Approved Standards are industry leading and independently audited.

Being transparent about our policies, standards and progress is important. Increasingly the industry is using outcomes measures derived from animal based indicators to assess the net welfare impacts.

Tesco have embedded a system of reporting for a range of species specific criteria and we ensure that the indicators are feasible, repeatable and valid.

The indicators we use can also be applied under a variety of different conditions (farm, transport and slaughter) and address:

  • good feeding
  • good housing
  • good health
  • appropriate behaviours

Indicator data is submitted by suppliers on a monthly basis and/or derived as part of the ongoing programme of independent 3rd party inspections. The data allows Tesco to track and trend relative performance within any given sector and monitoring individual supplier performance over time. This is pivotal to our supplier engagement and enables us to support improvement and good practice.

Key measures and trends for the global supply chain to Tesco (UK) are reported below. These are reported as sector averages (across the whole supplying geography) unless otherwise indicated. They are given for the reporting period May 2017 – April 2018.

Tesco outcome measure data is collated across all global supply chains for Tesco (UK) Ltd and covers criteria including:

  • farm
  • transport
  • slaughter

Reporting data is used to evidence the overarching policy requirements e.g. close confinement, maximum transport times and pre-slaughter stunning that are applicable to all species. These are then supplemented with a range of species specific measures.

Unless otherwise specified the data relates to the global supply base to Tesco UK stores; which accounts for 76% of total group business across all regions.

Farm Data.

Farm Assurance

In addition to our Tesco Approved Standard as a pre-requisite, 100% supplying farms must be certified to an approved assurance scheme which is compliant with ISO 17020 inspection requirements.

All of our British farms are assured by either Red Tractor or RSPCA. Find below a table of the Farm Assurance Schemes Tesco recognise and those identified as a higher welfare standard.



Higher Welfare Standard

Aquaculture Stewardship Council



BAP 4 Star



BEIC – Lion Code

Laying Hens


BIM Certified Quality Aquaculture



Bord Bia

Beef & Lamb (Irish)


British Quality Trout



DB Kontrol

Pigs and Poultry (Danish)



Aquaculture (Organic)



Pigs (Danish)


Farm Assured Welsh Livestock (FAWL)

Beef and Lamb


GenesisGAP Chicken



GenesisGAP Duck



GenesisGAP Pig Standard









IKB Nederlands Varkens



IKB Varkens







Pigs, Poultry, Beef & Lamb


Organic EU Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and 889/20081



Organic Farmers & Growers



Organic Food Federation



Organic Trust



PAI International Pig Standard






Quality Meats Scotland



Red Tractor



RSPCA Assured




All (organic)


Soil Association

All (organic)


Close Confinement

The Tesco Animal Welfare Policy stipulates that close confinement systems must actively be avoided. This is something that has on-going implementation, as indicated by the commitment to be ‘cage free’ for egg supply by 2025. Nevertheless, we have seen progress across all sectors.

Since the commitment was made in 2016 there has been a year on year reduction in caged egg production (sold as shell-on table eggs).

100% of finfish are either wild caught or farmed in open water systems. 100% of finished pigs are housed in systems which meet or exceed stocking density requirements and are never restrained or housed individually. 100% of breeding females (dairy cattle, sows and ewes) are never tethered and 100% sows are not confined in stalls during pregnancy post service. 100% of our Finest* pork (whether sold as a cut, further processed product or recipe ingredient) is outdoor bred in systems where sows farrow in loose housed (arc) accommodation. 100% poultry species for meat production are never housed in caged systems and meet or exceed the space requirements as defined in EU/UK legislation.

Routine Physical/Surgical Interventions Policy

Tesco encourages farming practices that reduce the need for management mutilations. At present tail docking of dairy cattle, beak trimming in commercial meat chickens, fin clipping of fin fish, dubbing of cockerels and mulesing of lambs is not practiced by any producers within any of our global supply chains.

None of our UK or Dutch finished pigs are castrated and Tesco is supports the work of the EU Pig Innovation Group; exploring methods of raising entire male pigs within EU pig supply chains. 100% of our Italian finished pigs used in a range of our speciality continental meats are free from tail docking and teething clipping, as are our Organic pigs.

100% of commercial meat chickens are free of any surgical intervention.



% Free of Mutilation

Tail docking

Dairy Cattle





Beak Trimming

Meat Chickens



Breeder Chickens (Cockerels)



Finished pigs (NL and UK)


Tail docking

Finished Pigs (IT); Organic Pigs


Teeth Clipping

Finished Pigs (IT); Organic Pigs


Fin Clipping

Fin Fish




The Tesco Sustainable Dairy Farming Group (TSDFG) are independently assessed at farm level to track and trend performance against key welfare indicators. Variables and associated compliance targets are provided below.

Assessment Variable


Mobility (lameness)

Herd average <10%

Johnes Disease

Disease not present in 98% of herd


< 8% cows require assistance at calving

Skin (Hock) Lesions

< 5% cows demonstrate any form of hock lesion

Body Condition Score

Cows to achieve a body condition score of 2 or above.

There has been a significant year-on-year improvement in cattle mobility; reflecting the attention to preventative foot care regimens.

Similarly the numbers of farms failing to meet compliance targets has decreased indicating that key management considerations such as nutrition, housing and health care are consistently improving.



Leg Culls associated with leg weakness

Mobility in poultry species is an area of key concern and hence the proportion of birds requiring culling for reasons associated with leg weakness is recorded.

The percentage of birds culled for leg issues is consistent across species and is fairly static. It also indicates that sites as a whole take a proactive approach to managing bird mobility.


Tesco are committed to housing systems and environmental management that ensure the occurrence of foot pad lesions (pododermatitis) in chickens, ducks and turkeys, leg lesions (hockburn) in chickens and breast blisters in turkeys are minimised. Tesco liaise with individual suppliers and communicate evidence of good practice and associated on farm management where individual suppliers are achieving significantly lower figures than the average. Consequently all variables have reduced since 2016.




Feather Coverage

Tesco requires that feather coverage is assessed (scored) in all commercial egg laying flocks from 40 weeks of age. This enables producers to monitor conditions or behaviours that may result in feather loss and respond accordingly. A score of 0 indicates complete feather coverage, while a score of 2 indicates a degree of feather loss. A majority of birds retain all or most of their feather coverage whilst in lay.




Human Animal Interaction

The human-animal relationship on a site is recognised as a significant factor in determining overall pig welfare. As the category of livestock subject to the longest period of sustained human contact on farm, the breeding herd provides arguably the best measure of overall husbandry on a given farm. This is scored from 0 (very receptive to human contact) to 2 (averse to human contact). It is scored during pig farm inspections, by independent assessors, where a score of 0-1 is the target.



Crowd Scoring

In open water aquaculture systems the area that the fish occupy has to be gradually reduced to allow fish to be moved safely from sea pen to collection vessels. This so called ‘crowding’ must be carefully managed to ensure that fish are not stressed. It is scored during harvest inspections by independent assessors where a score of 0-2 is the target (maximum possible score: 5). This represents ongoing improvement particularly in the bass and bream sectors that have successfully moved to electric stunning systems where fish are crowded and pumped through a water channel before stun, rather than being pulled clear of the water in a net system (‘brailling’).





Transport times

Self-reported data from all livestock suppliers confirm adherence to the requirement for transport times to be 8 hours or less over land. Independent 3rd party inspection data confirms that 100% of our beef cattle, lamb, pork, broiler chickens, ducks and turkeys travel from farm to slaughter within 8 hours.


% Transport Less than 8 Hours overland

Broiler Chicken













Animal Handling

It is recognised that loading and unloading can be inherently stressful for animals and as such Tesco require that unloading is assessed and subsequently verified as part of the independent 3rd party inspection process. Slips and falls are monitored for cattle and pigs; the inherent assessment challenges mean that only falls are recorded for lamb.

Pig Indices

Tesco prohibit the mixing of pig farm groups in transit. Pig welfare post transit is further monitored by assessment of lameness and skin damage; the levels of which are consistently low across the supply base indicating housing and transit handling are to a good standard.

Cattle Behavioural Indices

Vocalisation in the lairage area is recorded as an indices to provide a measure of the likely stresses and associated welfare status of the animals. Low reported levels have been validated by independent 3rd party assessment.




Pre-Slaughter Stunning

The Tesco Animal Welfare Policy requires that all livestock species are pre-stunned in accordance with European regulatory requirements (Regulation 1099/2009 EC). This is irrespective of geography or species. This means that while there is currently no statutory requirement for fish to adhere to prescribed methods of stun and slaughter Tesco suppliers of  salmon, trout sea bass and sea bream have adopted industry best practice i.e. electrical stunning prior to slaughter. Where poultry species may be sourced from Halal approved sites this is strictly limited to those that accept electrical stunning as part of the process. Stunning practice and procedure is verified during independent audit and the effectiveness of stun now constitutes an element of our outcome measure data.


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