Calgary Co-op Now Selling Fresh Open Pen Raised Alberta Pork
CALGARY, Sept. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Calgary shoppers have a new choice when it comes to purchasing pork. Calgary Co-op is now selling Co-op Perfect Pork - fresh open pen raised Alberta pork.
This new offering from Calgary Co-op is in direct response to a recent resolution passed at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March. Members voted in favour of a resolution for Calgary Co-op to phase out the sale of eggs and pork sourced from intensive confinement cages within the next five years and work with suppliers to find alternatives not sourced from these types of production practices.
"One of the unique advantages of belonging to a co-operative is the fact that our members can attend our AGM and vote on the issues that are important to them," says Deane Collinson, Chief Executive Officer. "When this resolution was passed, it became obvious that this issue is top of mind for many of our members. Their vote indicated they want a choice of products."
Calgary Co-op already offers a variety of eggs including free range, free run, organic and comfort coop, but this is the first open pen raised pork to be included as a regular listing at all Calgary Co-op food centres.
"Co-op Perfect Pork is the option our members have been seeking: open pen raised Alberta Pork that's 100% vegetable grain fed with no hormones," says Meat Operations Director Trevor Moore. "Our pork is selected for its unique colour and marbling. Paired with our unique 14 day aging process, Co-op Perfect Pork is extra tender and juicy for a meal your whole family can enjoy."
Co-op Perfect Pork is now available at the Calgary Co-op Crowfoot Centre and will be exclusively available at all Calgary Co-op food centres, including those located in Airdrie, High River, and Strathmore by mid-November.
About Calgary Co-op
Owned by our members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. With over 440,000 members, 3,500 employees, assets of $456 million and annual sales over $1 billion, Calgary Co-op is committed to lead in food, petroleum, home health care, pharmacy; travel and wine, spirits and beer. Investing over $4 million into the local community each year, Calgary Co-op supports numerous not-for-profit and charitable organizations through our Co-op Community Foundation.
Co-op Perfect Pork Backgrounder
Co-op Perfect Pork is supplied by Sunhaven Farms in central Alberta.
The treatment of pigs during pregnancy is based on protecting the health of the sow while ensuring the survival of her unborn babies. When placed together in groups, sows can be very aggressive as they determine their hierarchy, with the dominant pigs fighting to establish dominance at the expense of less aggressive sows. Apart from injuries to the sow, this process jeopardizes the unborn piglets and can even lead to loss of the pregnancy.
For these reasons, Sunhaven Farms provide sows with individual stalls during the breeding process and briefly afterwards until pregnancy is confirmed and the unborn pigs are safe from harm. This period is approximately 28 to 35 days. Following this period, the sows are moved into groups for the remaining 80 or so days of their pregnancy. They spend the majority of their gestation period in these groups versus the current practice of leaving the sows in individual gestation stalls.
Those unfamiliar with sow behavior and aggression might suggest that sows be housed together for their entire pregnancy. Unfortunately, to do so would subject the sow to bullying and potential harm while placing her pregnancy at significant risk.
There have been attempts, mostly in Europe, to house sows together for their entire pregnancies. These attempts have been mostly abandoned as the pregnancy losses were too large for farmers to be able to continue with this practice.
Maintaining a high standard of animal care is a serious responsibility, one that requires vigilance and adaptability on the part of producers. Sunhaven Farms' approach to pregnant housing aims to balance animal safety and comfort in a practical, sustainable manner.
SOURCE Calgary Co-Operative Association Limited (Calgary Co-op)For further information:
403-219-6025, ext. 6105