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Producer KT - Ask BPEX - Production standards
We are a multi-species cutting plant, currently progressing BQAP certification, and apparently need to register with yourselves for the quality mark (though may not use it on pack labels). Please could you let us know how to go about registering for this?
Monday, 29 December 2008
Thank you for your enquiry regarding registering for the QSM.
For a product to carry the QSM you need to source pork products from an assured pig farm via a BQAP abattoir and processing facility and comply with BMPA charter mark scheme standards for bacon, ham and sausage products.
A registration pack can be obtained from: meatmatters@ahdbms.org.uk
I try to source all my meat ethically and, most particularly, with animal welfare in mind. In fact, wherever possible, I buy organic. I recently came across a sausage that claimed to use BQAP. What does that really mean in terms of animal welfare?
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
The British Quality Assured Pork standard refers to the abattoir and processing standards within the British pig meat whole chain quality assurance scheme. For a product to carry the Quality Standard Mark it must be produced in line with the following assurance schemes that are independently audited in accordance with EN45012 international certification standards

Feed - UKAS
Farm - ABP or Genesis Quality Assurance
Transport - ABM
Abattoir - BQAP
Processing - BQAP

Details on each of these standards are freely available from our website on the below links http://www.bpex.org.uk/PracticalAdvice/ProducerKt/Assurance.aspx

We also have a summary of different pig meat production systems in the below link.
http://www.bpex.org.uk/Press/PigProductionGuide/default.aspx

In terms of animal welfare pig meat the QSM mark (including the BQAP standard for suasages) prohibits the use of sow stalls - still permitted in the rest of Europe and also prohibits the castration of pigs which I think you will find is still permitted with the organic pig meat standards.
Some Birmingham City Council schools are working towards the Food for Life standard. This standard states that all meat must be Farm Assured. It has been questioned that the BPEX mark does not guarantee the meat comes from a farm that has been independently verified as operating to the production standards of a voluntary assurance scheme such as the Assured British Pigs scheme. Please can you confirm if this is correct.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the BPEX Quality Standard Mark and assurance. I am pleased to tell you that for a product to carry the quality standard mark the various parts of the supply chain must be members and comply with the standards for the following schemes:
Until recently a vegetarian, I have decided to start eating meat if it meets high animal welfare standards - only eating products from pigs if they are outdoor bred and reared. Can you please tell me whether the British Meat Quality Standard for bacon,pork and sausages requires pigs to be outdoor bred and reared?
Friday, 8 August 2008
The Quality Standard for Pigmeat requires all pigmeat that displays the mark to have upheld the standards it represents.
i.e. if an outdoor producer wishes to use the mark on pigmeat produce it must have upheld the standards of the scheme.

The initiative provides a single, comprehensive and recognisable Quality Standard for all Pork and pork products i.e. Bacon, Ham and Sausages

All packs that carry this mark comes from farmers committed to these high standards which includes: animal welfare, quality control and traceability.

Animal welfare issues are important as food shoppers increasingly want to be reassured that what happens on the farm and in transport is professionally carried out using acceptable welfare, husbandry and healthcare practices. This standard and all its elements are independently audited to ensure compliance.

And so, where you see the Quality Standard Mark on pack you can be assured of the highest standards of animal welfare, quality control and traceability of the product.


I hope this has helped with your query, but if you require further detailed information please visit the following website: http://www.bpex.org.uk/PracticalAdvice/ProducerKt/Assurance.aspx
I have noted recent media airings of the definitional issue of Free Range for pork, and BPEX's stated position of wanting industry guidance in the absence of statutory definition. Are you able to update me on the latest situation and point me to any non-statutory definitions for Free Range pork (as well as for Freedom Food Pork)?
Thursday, 31 July 2008
As you are aware, there is no legal definition regarding production descriptors such as free range for pig production, as exists for poultry and eggs. BPEX are currently in discussion with the RSPCA as to whether a VOLUNTARY code for describing different indoor and more extensive outdoor systems could be established and what the parameters should be for each category within such a code.