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Implementation and Management

Approved Suppliers Database

To enable us to assist our suppliers with the implementation of our animal welfare policies, all suppliers are required to provide data on a biannual basis outlining the country of origin of all proteins purchased, including shell on eggs and egg ingredients that are used to supply the Mitchells & Butlers estate. This includes the name of the companies and/or abattoirs purchased from, the volume of raw material purchased annually and the proportion of product purchased under a named farm assurance and/or welfare accreditation scheme.

This data forms part of a sourcing database managed by the Food Purchasing Department.

Any changes to the source of proteins purchased for use within the Mitchells & Butlers estate must be communicated to the relevant Purchasing Manager in the first instance, prior to making any change. This will allow for the database to be updated and ensure its integrity is maintained.

Since May 2019, all practices relating to the Craft Guild of Chefs “Masters of Steak” accreditation as applicable to selected Miller & Carter steaks, are controlled by a supporting technical protocol outlining all requirements from farm to fork, including cattle selection and welfare.

We continue to work with our suppliers to identify any areas of non-compliance against the welfare standards and agree actions to rectify this in a timely manner. We will also work with them to set up and measure the agreed welfare outcomes, both within their own production systems and within those of their suppliers, to assist Mitchells & Butlers with future data requirements.

Implementation Process

Due to the complexity of the product portfolio supplied to Mitchells & Butlers, each ingredient purchased, which forms part of a menu dish, has been placed into one of three categories. Definitions of each product category are provided in the table below. Priority in establishing compliance to welfare standards and implementing welfare outcomes, including the measurement of these outcomes, has been given to the protein sources for category 1 products, where animal protein is the sole part of the ingredient, or constitutes a significant proportion of the ingredient's components.

As such we are working closely with the suppliers of these products, across all geographical locations. We will continue to report on our progress as we roll out these outcome measurements to suppliers of ingredients across all three product categories.

Category 1 IngredientsCategory 2 IngredientsCategory 3 Ingredients
Animal or fish protein is the sole, or core, part of the ingredient purchasedAnimal or fish protein is a component part of the ingredient purchasedAnimal or fish protein is a derivative, used as a component part of an ingredient
e.g. Sirloin Steak, Chicken Breast Fillet (Protein element 100%)e.g. Beef in beef pie, Scampi (Protein element 45%)e.g. egg yolk in pastry for a pie, beef gelatine in gravy (Protein element 0.6%)
Mitchells & Butlers / Supply base have a significant influence over the sourcing of this protein and steps from farm to plate are known and limitedMitchells & Butlers / Supply base have an influence over the sourcing of this protein, but steps from farm to plate may be varied and numerous, and less transparentMitchells & Butlers / Supply base have little, or no influence over the sourcing of this protein / protein derivative and steps from farm to plate may be varied and numerous and controlled by other third-party manufacturers
Protein can already be purchased to meet M&B animal welfare criteria, or targets can be agreed to ensure total compliance with welfare criteria within a timely manner (i.e. less than 1 year)Protein can be purchased to meet M&B animal welfare criteria and/or targets agreed to ensure total compliance with welfare criteria within an agreed timeline (i.e. a 1 to 2-year period)Data on origin and sourcing standards of protein derivative need to be gathered. Supply base to identify opportunities to move to sources that adhere to FAW criteria and plan transition process (within a 5- year period and no later than 2025)


We are working to ensure that all suppliers of proteins within scope adhere to our welfare standards and are in the process of implementing the Sourcing Policy into all areas of Mitchells & Butlers food procurement procedures, for all product categories, as detailed above.

Adherence to the appropriate welfare statements forms part of the tender process, conducted on a regular basis.

Suppliers must be able to provide the necessary supporting data to illustrate compliance with these standards, including the recording and measurement of key performance indicators, as applicable. This will form part of the auditing process conducted by Mitchells & Butlers and/or approved third party auditors on their own production practices and / or must be provided by their own suppliers.

Compliance with the required welfare standards now forms part of the contractual agreements between Mitchells & Butlers and the supplier and details of these standards are included within each invitation to tender.

Once a contract has been authorised, the source of all protein and fish raw material is logged onto the "Approved Suppliers" database. This details all the direct and indirect suppliers of protein and fish to the brands, by specie and by country of origin. This enables Mitchells & Butlers to manage compliance to the welfare standards required and to monitor any changes to supply sources.

Non-compliance is seen as a serious breach of our contractual agreement. In the event of a non-compliance, this would be reported to the HACCP and Sourcing Policy Steering Groups and, according to the nature of the issue, corrective action will be agreed with the supplier to ensure remedial action is taken within an acceptable time period. If a supplier is unable or unwilling to take remedial action, according to the nature of the issue, their supply status with Mitchells & Butlers will be reviewed as a matter of urgency and escalated to the Director of Food Trading and Head of Safety.

Mitchells & Butlers Procurement Strategy utilises supplier segmentation methodology devised by the CEB Procurement Council to manage supplier relationships. Our strategic suppliers, referred to as Tier 1 suppliers, work closely with Mitchells & Butlers to define and deliver opportunities to improve welfare standards, which form part of our joint Continuous Improvement Plans, reviewed on a quarterly basis. Many of these suppliers provide their technical expertise to advise and guide the major accredited bodies, such as Red Tractor. Through the actions being taken within their own companies they are able to steer the continual development of national assurance schemes, encouraging them to adopt more proactive approaches to welfare issue. This is something that Mitchells & Butlers both recognise and encourage, to allow significant change to be driven across the whole livestock and fishing industries.

In addition, many of our suppliers work with industry experts to understand opportunities to promote best practice or enhance animal welfare standards. An example of this includes contributions to research carried out by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) to produce guidance on the best practice for rearing dairy-bred beef calves. This aims to help producers to find ways of reducing the use of antibiotics in calf rearing, and to understand stressors experienced by calves, with the aim of managing these to increase calf welfare."

We will continue to develop our Sourcing Policy in line with changing business needs, to ensure that the standards defined within our Sourcing Policy are adhered to at all times and opportunities to improve are assessed and implemented as appropriate.

We will continue to work with our suppliers to identify areas of improvement and have started the process of implementing the measurement of welfare outcomes, as identified by specie. Details of these can be found within the specific Specie Welfare Standards section of our Policy, as relevant.

Non-Compliance Reporting - August 2019 to March 2020

In 2019/20 three incidences of non-compliance to agreed welfare standards were identified. Corrective action was agreed with the relevant parties and affected farms were independently audited to confirm all necessary steps had been taken to restore farms to full compliance. Any affected farms were suspended from use within the Mitchells & Butlers business until all remedial actions had been satisfactorily implemented.

*The business was temporarily closed between 20th March 2020 and 1st July 2020, in accordance with Government guidelines regarding the control and spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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