Antibiotic-free eggs, new Coop Italy milestone for ‘Let’s raise health’

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Eggs without antibiotics. Coop Italy marks a new milestone under the‘Let’s raise health‘ project. The initiative, presented on April 27, 2017, at the Ministry of Agriculture, aims to eliminate antibiotics from animal products under the brand name of Italy’s leading supermarket chain. A commitment that generates a revolution in breeding methods and that collectively affects more than 14 million animals each year and more than 1,600 farms in Italy.

100% antibiotic-free chicken

The first step is already accomplished. Just two months after the announcement, 100 percent of Coop brand chicken is ‘Raised without the use of antibiotics.’ In the meat sector, the first pork products also arrive on the shelf. And work is being done on the cattle supply chain.

‘In the group’s supermarkets,’ says Coop Italia, ‘there are already 25 references of the “Origine” line on the shelf with the label “Raised without the use of antibiotics,” for an estimated 240 thousand chickens per week. And soon the line will be enriched with more products to arrive at a choice of as many as 32 varieties to put on the table’.

Eggs without antibiotics, the first time in Italy

Coop-branded eggs come from free-range hens raised without the use of antibiotics from birth. A destination unprecedented in Italy, responding to the need to protect human health and animal welfare, and to combat the global threat of antibiotic resistance, a risk about which the World Health Organization has sounded the alarm, predicting that it could become the world’s leading cause of death by 2050.

Coop warns that the two available antibiotic-free egg references, which are certified by two independent bodies, are clearly recognizable to consumers by the appropriate labels. In total, when fully operational, at least 2 million hens will be raised without antibiotics, producing more than 1,800,000 eggs.

Award-winning Coop eggs

In egg production, Coop has been ahead of its time before. In 2010 he received the “Good Egg” award given by Compassion in World Farming for his eggs from free-range hens with animals born and raised in Italy. A choice adopted back in 2003 for its own branded eggs, then extended in 2010 to all eggs of any brand on Coop shelves.

“Achieving such a complex goal even ahead of schedule was made possible by the fact that it has always been our policy to have knowledgeable suppliers by our side who are involved in rigorous production and management processes; they are our first allies.”

(Maura Latini, Coop Italy general manager)

Coming soon, Fior Fiore pigs without antibiotics

The policy of reducing antibiotic use has also come to affect the more complex pork supply chain. The first products have been on sale since the first week of July, with the label “raised without the use of antibiotics in the last 4 months.”

These first products are part of the “Fior Fiore” line. These are animals raised in the wild on two Tuscan farms (in the Chianti hills and in Maremma). Under such conditions, the animals take much longer to reach the set weight, and this obviously means higher meat quality and artisanal processing of the products. More than 3,000 pigs are currently involved in the line.