All fresh outdoor-bred pork sold by Marks & Spencer is now LEAF Marque certified, demonstrating that it has been produced sustainably.
The fresh pork sold through the retailer is produced by family farming business Mercer Farming, which achieved LEAF Marque certification last month.
The LEAF Marque is an assurance system that recognises sustainably farmed products. It is based on LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management principle that uses the best of modern technology and traditional methods to deliver prosperous farming that enriches the environment and engages local communities.
Like all LEAF Marque certified farms, Mercer Farming was independently inspected to ensure it met the stringent sustainability criteria. Integrated Farm Management has always been important for the Staffordshire-based farming company, and examples of how this is implemented on the farm include the use of manure from pig units as a natural fertiliser and using their own straw as bedding for the pigs.
“As a fourth-generation family business, it’s vital for us to be sustainable,” Rob Mercer saiud. “We want our farm and land to be healthy and profitable for generations to come.
“The LEAF Marque is a credible, independent way of demonstrating the commitment we have to producing our pork and poultry as sustainably as we can.”
“As part of our Plan A commitment to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015 we have set ourselves 180 commitments, and this is brought to life for our agricultural sourcing through our Farming for the Future programme,” Marks & Spencer agriculture manager Mark Atherton-Ranson added.
“We are working closely with our farmers and growers to address the four Es – Efficiency, the Environment, Ethics and Education – and work with LEAF and a number of other leading NGOs to ensure we continue to build a sustainable business, offering our customers high quality, innovative products that have been sourced sustainably.”