Marston’s has a strong and comprehensive policy that previously prohibited the prophylactic use of medically important antibiotics for meat. The company has since extended the scope of their policy to include all relevant species including fish. In terms of public targets for implementation, work appears to be underway to develop individual supplier policies to further support the company’s Food Supplier Charter, and supplier compliance is monitored by a third-party.
We are encouraged by Marston’s commitment to antibiotics stewardship. However, we would encourage Marston’s to further strengthen their programme by:
- Extending the scope of their policy beyond medically important antibiotics in order to phase out the routine use of all antibiotics and/ or only use antibiotics when there is a disease present and administered by a veterinarian.
- Using stronger language, i.e., “prohibit or phase out” routine prophylactic use in order to clearly set out company expectations for its suppliers.
- Reporting more comprehensively and publicly on implementation progress including antibiotics use.
We are pleased that FAIRR have recognised the steps we have taken since the last assessment to broaden the scope of our policy and procedures in relation to the use of antibiotics. Education within the supply base will continue to be a focus for us going forward and we fully support FAIRR in their future plans to focus on food manufacturers as we feel this is where we will start to get a step change in knowledge and thus reduction in antibiotic use. We are keen to be involved in these next stages and will provide access to our supplier base for FAIRR to communicate with. The 2019 update of the Food Supplier Charter will look to strengthen the language used to better set out our expectations.
See the company response to the engagement here.