Welcome to the informational website for the BPEX Quality Standard Mark – your guarantee that the pork, bacon, ham and sausages you purchase have been produced to high standards of animal welfare and quality assurance.
This site has been created to help you, the consumer, shop with confidence, so that you can be secure in the knowledge that you are purchasing products produced in accordance with UK legislation.
What Are The Requirements Of The Scheme?
In the UK we have a voluntary system of independently audited Quality Assurance for pig production, which operates to internationally recognised standards. Assurance schemes also operate in other EU countries.
Consumers may be interested to know that a key point of difference between normal production standards on pig farms in the UK and all other EU countries (except Sweden) is that the use of stalls and tethers for pregnant sows has been banned in this country since the beginning of 1999. Tethers were banned in Holland, though stalls are still used. A ban on tethers will be introduced in the rest of the EU. However, a partial ban on the use of sow stalls will not be introduced in the rest of the EU. For further information on stalls and tethers click here.
Importing countries are not obliged to meet British minimum legal standards regarding pig welfare. As long as they meet EU standards then that is sufficient. However, some importers have introduced special ‘UK contracts’ which are compatible with key aspects of British pig welfare legislation. These products (around one-third of imports) are therefore entitled to use the Quality Standard Mark on pack, featuring the flag of the product’s country of origin, provided they also meet the other quality standards of the BPEX Quality Assurance Scheme.
…and with the knowledge that the pork, bacon, ham and sausages you are purchasing conforms to UK welfare legislation or equivalent standards.
Retailers confirmed which of their product ranges comply with the regulatory UK welfare specifications. All British pork must comply with those standards. ‘UK equivalent’ means that the pork was produced outside the UK under welfare conditions equivalent to those required in the UK. Any product ranges not listed have not been confirmed to the National Pig Association or the British Pig Executive as being sourced to those minimum UK welfare standards.