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Responsible Retailing

What's in our food and drink? Where does it come from? How do we maintain our high standards? Which awards have we won?

Food & drink served

We aim to continually improve the quality of our food (and drink) offering to our customers and to provide them with information about our product range, to help them make informed decisions about their food consumption

Nutritional information, including calories, salt and fat content is available from our website and in all pubs. The calorie count of each dish is included on the menus. A range of meals are available & highlighted that contain 500 calories or fewer. 

Information on the 14 common allergens is available on our website and in the pubs. Specific menus for vegetarians, vegans and for customers avoiding gluten or dairy are available. 

We have fully supported the Public Health Responsibility Deal from its introduction in 2011.

We have signed up to the following pledges in the Food section of the Responsibility Deal:

  • Calorie reduction
  • Salt Catering: Reformulation of products as purchased by the customer
  • Salt Reduction


Children’s menu

A separate menu has been developed for children under 10 years, or those with a smaller appetite.

The menu has a range of meals including smaller versions of dishes on the main menu including scampi, fish and chips, chilli con carne and 5-bean chilli.

Drinks include water, milk, fruit juices and a banana and strawberry smoothie. Fizzy drinks are not advertised to children.



Since 2010, we have reduced the overall salt content in our meals by about 20%. Initial focus was on dishes with the highest salt level and children’s meals however now it includes all meals. The salt content of all meals is included within the nutritional information (g of salt per meal or portion). For children’s meals this information is also included on the menu.


Fats & Palm Oil

We do not use any hydrogenated vegetable fats or trans-fats in our foods. The cooking oil we use is virtually trans-fat free.

Two types of cooking oil are used:

  • Type 1: 100% rapeseed oil
  • Type 2: A blend of 55-65% rapeseed oil and 35-45% palm oil.  The palm oil is certified segregated palm oil.

Our supplier of cooking oils is a member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and their production sites are RSPO certified.

We are working with all our food suppliers to ensure that any palm oil used as an ingredient is also certified segregated palm oil.


Genetically modified ingredients

We do not use genetically modified ingredients in our foods.

There is no commercial growing of GM crops in the UK or the majority of Europe. Worldwide, and particularly in the USA, the farming and direct and indirect use of GM crops is more widespread. These crops can be used directly, or as animal feed and bio-fuel.

For this reason, it is not possible to guarantee the exclusion of GM ingredients in drinks, particularly those originating from the USA.


Responsible product sourcing & product quality

We seek to carry out our business honestly, and with respect for the rights and interests of those involved. We endeavour to ensure that relations with customers, suppliers and business partners are fair and mutually beneficial.

Wetherspoon’s employees are not permitted to accept bribes or enticements of any kind including gifts or hospitality.

In sourcing products from many different countries, we aim to uphold the International Labour Organisation’s agreed standards of labour (including a ban on child labour & forced labour) and we expect our suppliers to treat their employees fairly, honestly and with respect for their human rights.

We have a fully traceable supply chain and all of the company’s food suppliers have a globally recognised food production standard, for example accreditation by the British Retail Consortium.

There are strict specifications for all products, so that high standards of quality and food safety are met, including:

  • Detailed product specifications
  • Complete product traceability
  • Regular DNA testing on all processed meat products, steaks and fish.


Buy British & Irish, Support local farming

We seek to promote long-term relationships with its suppliers. Where possible we use British & Irish products and support local farming. For example our chips are made using 100% British potatoes, our beef burgers are made with 100% British and Irish beef, our sausages are made with 100% British and Irish pork and all our beef steaks come from Britain and Ireland.

Where practicable, we work with suppliers, contractors and partners to minimise the environmental impact and encourage sustainable sourcing.

We support brewers of all sizes, across the UK and Ireland, so that our customers can enjoy a diverse range of real ales. We support over 400 UK brewers, delivering over 5,000 ales through real-ale festivals, exhibitions, meet-the-brewer events and the promotion and stocking of their beers. Every pub endeavours to have at least four ales available at all times including ones which are locally sourced. 

Farm Animal Welfare Policy

J D Wetherspoon is committed to ensuring that the welfare of all animals used in the production of its foods is safeguarded (UK and globally). We have a Farm Animal Welfare Policy which sets out our policies on animal close confinement, genetic engineering or cloning, growth promoting substances, use of antibiotics, use of routine mutilations, pre slaughter stunning and long distance live transportation. Suppliers are selected and then audited to monitor their compliance with this policy. 


It is our policy:

  • To base our animal welfare specifications and requirements on the Five Freedoms detailed below.
  • To insist that high standards of animal welfare are met and maintained at all stages of the animal’s life on the farm, during transportation and at the place of slaughter.
  • That all our suppliers comply with relevant European and local animal welfare regulations including Regulation 1831/2003/EC.
  • To develop proactive animal health and welfare policies and livestock’s aquaculture production specifications using the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s Five Freedoms as a framework and for guidance. To only work with processors and producers who share this commitment.


Adherence to these policy requirements forms parts of our terms of trade with our suppliers and is reviewed as part of our annual supplier assessment.

J D Wetherspoon is committed to developing and implementing the Five Freedoms concept, proposed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. The Five Freedoms are:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: By ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain their full health and vigour.
  2. Freedom from discomfort: By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: By prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress: By ensuring conditions and treatment, which avoid mental suffering.

We will not knowingly make any misleading claims or inferences to our customers. We will communicate honestly and clearly to them about animal welfare standards under which our food is produced. 


Farm Animal Welfare Policy - Our Commitments

  • All the farms used by our suppliers must meet our livestock standards.
  • We are committed to ensuring that all the livestock sourced and those animals that produce our eggs and milk have a meaningful life that is worth living.
  • Raw material suppliers (primary producers), suppliers and their processing plants are subject to visits by independent Auditors, in addition to our internal teams to ensure best practice is being delivered at all times.
  • Our policy excludes animals that have been produced through genetic engineering or cloning from our supply chains.
  • The use of artificial growth promoting substances, including antibiotics, is prohibited across all our livestock supply chains.
We will work to get the animal welfare standards of our suppliers endorsed by appropriate organisations that have experience and expertise in this area. 

Sustainable Fish

All of the cod and haddock we use for battered fish, including ‘Fish Friday®’ are supplied from sustainable fisheries in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Our supplier, Three Oceans, has signed the Sustainability Fish Cities Pledge, the first UK processor to do so.

Our Skipjack tuna is caught in the waters of the Western Central Pacific. It is rated as 3 on the MCS ‘Good Fish to Eat’ ratings. The cannery used is certified by the Earth Island Institute.

Our Whitby scampi is caught in waters around the UK and processed in the UK.

Our supplier, Whitby Seafoods, is a member of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (whose goals are very similar to the Sustainable Fish Cities Pledge).

We use farmed salmon for our smoked salmon and warm-water BAP-certified prawns for our spicy coated prawns. Our major speciality seafood supplier, Lyons Seafoods, joined the Sustainable Seafood Coalition at its inception in 2011. The group’s vision is that all fish and seafood sold in the UK should be from sustainable sources. Lyons Seafoods is committed to the responsible sourcing of all seafood, by following good practice, including the use of risk assessments of all of our salmon and prawns.

Whitby bay


Free Range Eggs – RSPCA Assured

We were the first pub company to gain recognition from RSPCA Assured - the RSPCA's ethical food label - for sourcing all shell eggs from farms that care for their hens to higher welfare standards throughout their lives.

We have committed to using shell eggs in all pubs from free range hens. Free range means that the hens are free to roam from dawn to dusk with free access to water, food and shelter. 


Rainforest Alliance Tea & Coffee

We have worked with the Rainforest Alliance since 2008.

In 2010 we were awarded the Sustainable Standard-Setter Award by the Rainforest Alliance for ongoing dedication, innovation and leadership in environmental conservation.

All our Lavazza Tierra coffee beans come from farms that have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance as sustainable. A small number of pubs do serve decaffeinated coffee from pods which have not yet been certified.

All our tea (including Tetley decaffeinated tea and Tea Pigs tea) are certified by the Rainforest Alliance as sustainable. 


Sustainable Restaurants’ Association

We are members of ‘Food Made Good’, a not for profit organisation run by the Sustainable Restaurants’’ Association, with the following mission: 

“We seek to simplify the complexity of sustainability for businesses, through our unique framework specifically developed for the food service industry”.

Food Made Good encourages companies to be more sustainable and tracks & promotes their achievements around 14 areas and then publicises those that are making progress in these areas:



  • Local & seasonal
  • Ethical meat & dairy
  • Environmentally positive farming
  • Sustainable fish
  • Fair trade



  • Treating people fairly
  • Healthy living
  • Community engagement
  • Responsible marketing



  • Supply chain
  • Waste management
  • Workplace resources
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water saving

The first company audit against the standards set is expected to take place in early 2017. 



Slavery and Human Trafficking

Section 54 the Modern Slavery Act requires commercial organisations operating in the UK (with a a global turnover above £36 million), to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement each financial year, which sets out the steps they have taken to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking in their business or supply chains. The Act specifically states that the statement must include “the steps the organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains and in any part of its own business.” 

Click here to download our 

Slavery and Human Trafficking statement

Click here to download our Responsible Supplier Principles

Responsible Alcohol Retailing

We support practices which promote sensible drinking and have established a ‘code of conduct for responsible retailing’, outlining our approach in this area.


Responsible advertising

We do not engage in irresponsible drinks promotions. We do not offer promotions such as ‘buy one, get one free’. The majority of our drinks promotions form part of a food promotion.

Low-alcohol and no-alcohol beverages are prominently displayed on drinks menus and other marketing materials. Where drinks are promoted we always offer a range of drinks including ones of different alcoholic strengths, soft drinks and coffee. 


Public Health Responsibility Deal

We have signed up to the following pledges in the Alcohol section of the Public Health Responsibility Deal:

  • Awareness of Alcohol Units in the On-Trade
  • Tackling Under-Age Alcohol Sales
  • Support for the charity Drinkaware
  • Responsible Advertising and Marketing of Alcohol
  • Support for Community Actions to Tackle Alcohol Harm


In October 2014, we were the first major on–trade alcohol retailer to include the alcohol unit content of all drinks on its menu.

We also seek to develop partnerships with local authorities and the police. All pubs are requested to become a member of the local Pubwatch scheme (which promotes a safe and responsible drinking environment). In several locations, a company pub manager chairs the scheme and, where there is no Pubwatch, we work with the local police and council to try to establish one.


Industry Initiatives

We support and work with a number of ‘cross-industry’ organisations including the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), People First and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

A company representative sits on the National Pubwatch committee.

We were one of only four pub companies who was a founding supporter of the Drinkaware Trust. We continue to support them financially and by including a reference to their website on most of our ‘alcohol related’ point of sale and marketing materials and from the Company website. In addition, we offer Drinkaware a free page in every edition of Wetherspoon News to communicate sensible drinking messages.   

We encourage our pubs to enter the ‘Best Bar None’ schemes (run by local authorities and the police, to encourage good behaviour in town centres), promoting a safe and secure environment. 


Food Safety and Health & Safety

The company seeks to promote high standards of food safety and health & safety throughout the business.

At the end of August 2016, 92.5% of pubs had achieved the maximum five stars for the ‘Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’ system, run by local authorities. An additional 6.1% achieved a rating of four stars. All pubs in Scotland assessed under the Scottish Pass/Fail scheme achieved a “Pass”.

We have signed a Primary Authority Partnership (under the Better Regulation Delivery Office scheme) for Health & Safety, Food Safety and Trading Standards, with Reading Borough Council. In 2013, we were awarded the Better Regulation Delivery Office Best Partnership award.


Monitoring our high standards

Every pub receives at least five quality assurance visits each month from a combination of their area manager, the audit department, an external ‘mystery shopper’ company and other head office managers. The scores from these visits are combined and form part of the bonus scheme for all pub based employees.  

There are 926 pubs (98%) accredited by Cask Marque for the quality and consistency of the real ale which they serve.

There are 292 Wetherspoon pubs listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2016 (2015: 317) – a larger proportion, we believe, than any other substantial pub company.

The average rating of a Wetherspoon pub on Trip Advisor is 3.6 (out of 5.0) and a Wetherspoon hotel is 4.3, both of which are higher than the national average. In 2016, 111 pubs & hotels have been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence (2015: 71).  


Wetherspoon: food sourcing policies, practices and guidelines

Version 1.0 July 2017