Countdown: Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare:

Countdown is deeply committed to good animal welfare practices throughout our supply chain because it’s the right thing to do and because we know it's something our customers are really passionate about.

Our first preference is to source our fresh produce and livestock from New Zealand farmers and growers wherever we can. New Zealand has strict quality and animal welfare standards and we, alongside our suppliers, adhere to the Animal Welfare Act regulations. We also partner with accredited processing facilities, which are overseen by MPI.

All of Countdown’s own fresh beef, lamb, pork and chicken is New Zealand grown and from approved sources.

Pork:

Countdown’s fresh pork is free-farmed and sourced from Patoa Farms in Canterbury. Patoa Farms has been free farming pork since 1998, and is certified by the SPCA. Free farming is not the same as free range. Free farmed sows are outside in a paddock, and piglets are raised in barns after they’re weaned. There are no crates or stalls to trap sows in place. Less than two percent of New Zealand’s pigs are farmed free range.

Seafood:

All locally sourced Fresh Fish is covered by the NZ Quota Management system. All other seafood is sustainably sourced. For farmed seafood, the certification schemes recognised by our business are the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture Practice (min 2 star) or GlobalGAP.

All Own Brand canned tuna to be FAD free and/or Pole and Line caught and from sources that are MSC certified or independently verified (eg ISSF) as ecologically responsible

Eggs:

Countdown sources its eggs from approved suppliers in New Zealand who operate under guidelines from both MPI and Egg Producers Federation.

Countdown’s goal is to have 100 percent cage free eggs on shelf, subject to regulatory changes and based on the available supply, affordability and customer demand. We are targeting the end of 2024 in the North Island and the end of 2025 in the South Island to achieve this.

To support this work, in 2016 we launched our Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn suppliers. This programme provides certainty to suppliers that if they invest in free range or barn egg farming, we will buy those eggs.

Animal testing:

Countdown does not use animal testing in any of its own brand products.

Pets, live animals and pet accessories:

All pet accessories sold in our stores, such as collars or bowls, undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they are safe and comfortable for the animal. Instructions for use are clearly stated on the label.