[29 October/Stuff]

Countdown has pledged to only sell New Zealand-grown free farmed fresh pork. Its main rival, Foodstuffs, said it was happy to continue selling pork from farms using crates as well as imported products. Those who defended crates said they stopped piglets from being crushed. Animal rights group, SAFE, presented a 100,000 strong petition to parliament to ban these crates. Countdown’s Head of Meat, Alton Gullery, said its decision to opt for free farmed pork would make animal welfare considerations a widely available choice for consumers at no extra cost. Since 2014, restrictions on fresh pork imports had been removed, resulting in a flood of meat. Mr Gullery noted it was important to make a distinction between free farmed and free range. Free range pigs wander outside all the time and make up only 1 percent of New Zealand’s pork population. NZ Pork welcomed a focus by any retailer on supporting local farms.