Alliance welcomes publication of antibiotic-use and updated antibiotics policy by Co-op

Alliance welcomes publication of antibiotic-use and updated antibiotics policy by Co-op

The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics welcomes the decision by Co-op to publish data on antibiotic use in its supply chain.

Co-op becomes the UK’s fourth supermarket to publish such data after M&S, Waitrose  and Asda published information about their own supply chains earlier this year.

Ciara Gorst, the Co-op’s head of agriculture, said: “We’ve been working incredibly hard to capture accurate data and are working in a collaborative and collective fashion with our suppliers and the wider industry to find the best way to benchmark our performance…We remain open and transparent on usage and this has been made possible only through the establishment of our farming groups, which engender positive, proactive and long-term relationships.”

Suzi Shingler of the Alliance said: “We very much welcome Co-op’s decision to publish data on their suppliers’ antibiotic use. The publication of this information means almost half of the UK’s largest supermarkets are now proving that there is an industry-wide commitment to greater transparency in disclosing levels of antibiotics being used in our food production. We hope that the rest soon join Co-op, Waitrose, M&S and Asda in increasing transparency for their customers.”

Co-op’s data shows antibiotic-use levels which are well below industry average. The data is also comprehensive in that it covers the majority of farmed animals.

Cóilín Nunan, the Alliance’s scientific adviser said: “The publication of this data should help drive average use across the farming industry down, as it illustrates the extent to which many other producers are still overusing antibiotics, despite recent cuts. If the data published by the four supermarkets so far is genuinely representative of antibiotic use in their UK supply chains, then this implies that some other suppliers must be using far higher levels to account for the significantly higher industry averages.

We are also calling for all supermarkets to publish antibiotic-use data by farming system, so that consumers can compare free-range and organic farming with indoor farming and intensive systems.”

 

Note to Editors

 

2016 Industry average

M&S 2016

Waitrose 2016

ASDA 2016

Co-op 2016

Co-op 2017

Beef, veal, venison

N/A

N/A

<10

<10

N/A

2.8

Lamb

N/A

N/A

<10

3

4.88

N/A

Pigs

183

41

50-75

N/A

N/A

42

Dairy

26.2

13

15-25

20

N/A

13.22

Chicken

17

2.5

<5

7.7

N/A

12.7

Duck

3

N/A

<5

3.8

N/A

N/A

Turkey

86

N/A

10-15

20

N/A

9

Salmon

N/A

N/A

<10

N/A

N/A

5

Trout

N/A

N/A

<5

N/A

N/A

N/A

Egg*

0.73

N/A

<0.5

N/A

<0.1

N/A

Antibiotic use in mg of active per kg of Population Correction Unit
The Population Correction Unit is a European Union technical unit measuring the size of a livestock population.


*for eggs the figures in this table are given in terms of number of daily doses per 100 hen days.