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, Support local
We seek to promote long-term relationships with its suppliers. Where possible we use British products and support British farming. For example our chips are made using 100% British potatoes, our beef burgers are made with 100% British beef, our sausages are made with 100% British pork and all our beef steaks come from Britain and Ireland.
Where practical, 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.
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:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst: By ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain their full health and vigour.
- Freedom from discomfort: By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease: By prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour: By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals own kind.
- 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.
- 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.
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 scampi is caught in waters around the UK and processed in the UK. The fish source areas are rated between 2 and 4 on the MCS ‘Good Fish to Eat’ ratings. All the areas that are fished have ‘future stock health score’ above 6.0 and scampi fishing is protected by strictly enforced quotas.
Our supplier, Whitby Seafoods, is a member of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (whose goals are very similar to the Sustainable Fish Cities Pledge).
We also use farmed Salmon for our Smoked Salmon, and warm water prawns for our spicy coated prawns. Over the next year we are planning to start sourcing this fish from certified farms (organic in the case of salmon and BAP/Global gap for prawns).
Free Range Eggs
We only use British free range eggs that are Freedom Foods Assured. 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 and 100% of the tea and Lavazza coffee served comes from Rainforest Alliance certified farms. In 2010 we were awarded the Sustainable Standard-Setter Award by the Rainforest Alliance for ongoing dedication, innovation and leadership in environmental conservation.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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).