How easy is it to enjoy a bbq with higher animal welfare standards?

With barbecue season in full swing, we at Giki wanted to see how easy it is to find BBQ meat with higher welfare standards. As a nation of animal lovers – nearly half of us own a pet – this is an issue that is important to many of us.

At Giki, we rate 280,000 supermarket products, including barbeque meats, on health, environmental impact and animal welfare. From our database of UK supermarket products, we have looked at burgers, sausages, and fresh chicken portions to see how easy it is to find these meats, with higher welfare standards. We looked for RSPCA Assured or organic (Soil Association and EU organic) meat in terms of higher welfare standards. Here's what we found. 

Burgers

Sausages

  • We found over 1,500 sausage products with no animal welfare certification – that means you can be confident that they are kept to minimum legal requirements, but nothing more.
  • We found 30 sausage products that do have higher animal welfare, either RSPCA Assured or Organic certification, which has an animal welfare requirement attached. Brands to look out for include Sainsbury’sJolly Hog and Co-op (100% of their Irresistible range is sourced from RSPCA Assured farms). If you are firing up the BBQ, here are some tips to ensure you get everything just right.

Fresh chicken portions

  • In this group, it is easier to find better welfare standards, particularly when shopping at Sainsbury’s or Aldi.
  • Although just under 400 products showed, no animal welfare certification, we found 50 that did. Black Farmer is a brand with products that regularly meet RSPCA Assured animal welfare standards.
  • Looking for an inspiring chicken BBQ recipe? Look no further. 

How do I find high welfare meat?

At Giki, we have investigated a number of different labels and standards, we believe that RSPCA Assured, Soil Association, and EU organic give the best assurances on animal welfare. The logos are usually shown on the pack. You can also look for outdoor bred for pork products.

If you want to check your BBQ choices before you buy them, you can scan the barcode on the free Giki app. We search for all these labels – and if a product uses any of them, it will get the animal welfare badge in the app.

In addition to issues around animal welfare, meat has also been in the news recently regarding its high carbon footprint and its impact on the environment. Red meat, like beef, pork and lamb, has the highest carbon footprint of all the food we eat. Chicken and fish, still have a high footprint, but it is lower than red meat. See how you could cut down on the amount of meat you eat each week with the RSPCA Assured eat less, eat better two-week meal planner.

It is striking that it is so much easier to find free-range eggs or chicken than other higher welfare barbecue products. But it is possible to find them though, and retailers like Sainsbury's with their Basics range, AldiLidl and Co-op are showing that it’s also possible to make higher welfare choices at no extra cost. 

Giki Badges

Scan thousands of supermarket products to see whether they are sustainable, healthy and ethical. Giki Badges is the mobile app that tells you about the products you buy and the companies you buy them from. Download it now: Google Play Store or Apple App Store

About the author

Jodie Adam

Jodie is RSPCA Assured's Digital Communications Manager. 

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