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Good food

Each year, we welcome millions of guests into our restaurants, bars and pubs, serving them around 130 million meals, making us one of the largest on-trade caterers in the UK. Our priority is to source food products of the right quality at the right price, where the quantity that we need can be guaranteed.

We want to make sure that our guests, whatever the occasion, can choose a dish that's right for them - regardless of whether they're young or old, would like a treat or want a lighter option. More and more, our guests want to know about the food they eat, to be able to make an informed choice about their meal. They trust us to help them and we do this in two ways - by being clear about what IS in our food and what is NOT in our food.

In response to changing needs and life styles, we also aim to ensure that our menus offer a choice of dishes that satisfy the requirements of all guests, including those looking to make changes to the amount of meat and poultry products they consume within their diets. As well as our current range of meat free meals, we are looking to introduce dishes which include ingredients from plant-based proteins. As well as appealing to vegans and vegetarians, these will also meet the requirements of those guests looking to reduce their intake of animal protein. These dishes will be trialled in selected brands in coming months.

We have a responsibility to our Guests to ensure that the food we source has been produced in a sustainable and ethical manner, taking due regard for high standards of animal welfare.

Our Sourcing Policy has been developed to ensure that the procurement of all meat, poultry and finfish used within our business is carried out in accordance with the Company's ethical standards that operate across all our brands. Working closely with our suppliers, we aim to optimise animal welfare standards to meet business needs and satisfy Guest requirements. We are also looking at our welfare requirements for all wild caught fish and crustaceans used within the business.

Guest Insight research we conducted, highlighted key areas of concern that matter to our Guests in terms of animal welfare, environmental impact and social equity.

The Sourcing Policy sets out to address all of these issues and confirms our intentions to achieve the optimal standards possible for each of our brands. Led by a cross functional team, reporting directly to the Executive Committee, the Sourcing Policy continues to evolve and is reviewed on a regular basis, to incorporate any changes in legislation, procurement policies or business needs.

The Sourcing Policy forms an integral part of our key strategic initiative of building a more balanced business.

Our preliminary focus has been to develop our Sourcing Policy in relation to our animal welfare standards.

As a buyer of raw material and manufactured goods, Mitchells & Butlers work closely with our suppliers, to achieve compliance to these welfare standards, regardless of country of origin. As raw material is purchased in different forms and at different stages within the production cycle, Mitchells & Butlers encourages the operation of transparent supply chains, to allow compliance to be assessed and managed from farm to fork. This is an ongoing process and progress is monitored regularly, and reported on annually.

Our key achievements:

  • In January 2017 our 25 Browns restaurants began serving Guests with 100% British Red Tractor Farm Assured beef, produced through their very own Browns Integrated Beef Supply programme. This initiative takes calves from known Red Tractor farm assured dairy farms, which are reared on specialist calf units, through to the finishing stage on selected assured farms, contracted to supply Mitchells & Butlers. In recognition of the great quality beef produced from this scheme, Browns have won Silver and Bronze awards at the World Steak Challenge both in 2017 and in 2018.
  • Following the receipt of our Compassion in World Farming Good Egg Award in 2016, Mitchells & Butlers now procure 100% shell on eggs produced from free range hens, achieving this status six months ahead of our original target. This equates to the purchase of around 20.3m eggs each year, all produced from free range hens. We shared this move to a higher welfare standard with our guests through social media activity on our Harvester, Toby Carvery and Sizzling accounts.
  • Since publishing our Sourcing Policy in July 2016, we have been progressing with the "Implementation and Management" section of our Policy. Through on-going supplier engagement, we have continued to make significant progress to ensure that the procurement of meat, poultry and finfish used within our business is carried out in accordance with the Company's ethical standards, that operate across all our brands. We have now started to implement appropriate welfare outcomes, by specie, which allows us to measure adherence to our welfare requirements. We will continue to build on the reporting of our performance versus targets.
  • Updates have been made to our Sourcing database, verifying the country of origin of all meat and poultry purchased and the proportion of product purchased under a named farm assurance and/or welfare accreditation scheme, ensuring compliance with the welfare statements outlined in our Sourcing Policy
  • Updates on our Farm Animal Welfare and Sourcing Policy have been shared with our core food suppliers at the annual Food & Drink Supplier Conference, most recently held in April 2018
  • The Mitchells & Butlers Antibiotics Policy has been updated, to prohibit the prophylactic use of antibiotics
  • Our Sourcing Policy has been integrated within the company's Technical Guide for Food Suppliers, recognising the importance of animal welfare within our food production standards and ensuring supplier acknowledgement of our Policies by the use of a formal "sign off" process. Any amendments to our Sourcing Policy are included within this Guide and updated annually.
  • A cross functional working party has been established to collate data from suppliers regarding the current status on the welfare standards in operation for farmed fish, wild caught fish and crustaceans purchased for use within the Mitchells & Butlers estate. We intend to publish our welfare outcomes relating to farmed fish, wild caught fish and crustaceans by Spring 2019, which will form part of our annual reporting process.
  • A questionnaire has been issued to all suppliers who procure eggs, liquid eggs or egg derivatives for inclusion within our products, to ascertain the production system in place for laying hens. The information gathered will allow Mitchells & Butlers to assess how we can progress to a 100% cage free status for laying hens and assists Mitchells & Butlers in delivering their objective of extending the procurement of shell on eggs from cage free hens, to include egg products, and to complete this transition by 2025, subject to availability and commercial negotiations.
  • Mitchells & Butlers have continued to engage with Compassion in World Farming and FAIRR on matters relating to welfare and antibiotic usage, as well as holding preliminary meetings with The Humane Society and the National Farmers Union.
  • After attending the CIWF forum on the Better Chicken Commitment, Mitchells & Butlers are holding further meetings with their poultry suppliers and CIWF, to assess the impact of this initiative on current production models.

Accredited Standards

We recognize that improving Farm Animal Welfare is an ongoing process and to assist with measuring our progress, we continue to monitor the volume of raw material procured that already meets the welfare standards of accredited bodies, such as Red Tractor Assurance and Bord Bia.

On an annual basis Mitchells & Butlers purchase the following product from livestock reared to meet these specific welfare standards - a total purchase of approximately 10,000 tonnes of red meat and poultry ingredients.

Annual Quantity of Raw Material Purchased in Tonnes

CATEGORYUK RED TRACTOREIRE BORD BIATOTAL BY MATERIAL
Bacon52.252.2
Beef1,867.52,030.03,897.5
Chicken2,753.02,753.0
Duck8.78.7
Lamb57.357.3
Pork467.8230.4698.2
Turkey2,711.42,711.4
TOTAL BY COUNTRY7,917.92,260.410,178.3

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