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Showing respect for animals ensures the best quality of the products we sell.
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Animal welfare

We follow the best animal welfare practices to fulfil our mission to bring the best food to our customers’ tables, and the criteria we have established apply to all Group companies. We have banned growth hormones and only allow antibiotics for therapeutic purposes, never preventively or to promote growth. The stunning of all animals before slaughter is also compulsory, except for certified religious rituals (less than 5%).

We regularly carry out laboratory tests and quality and food safety audits of our suppliers and the slaughterhouses used by the Group in Portugal, Poland, and Colombia to ensure compliance with our principles.

Animal testing

We do not allow animal testing in the development of our products in any of the countries where we are present.

Biotechnology and GMO

Our Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Policy prohibits the use of transgenic additives or ingredients or GMOs, whether plant or animal-based, in our Private Brand and perishable products.
We work with suppliers to understand their production processes and to assess safety and quality standards. We also carry out regular laboratory analyses, using independent and accredited entities.
Our Companies ensure that suppliers can identify and trace GMOs in cases where it is impossible to replace them. The Companies also provide the consumer’s right to information about the presence of GMOs on product labelling.


Biedronka, Pingo Doce and Recheio sell nationally-raised Private Brand free-range chicken. In the case of Biedronka, chickens are raised without antibiotics and non-GMO feed. The contract specifications for the calves sold, Angus beef, and organic veal animal include welfare criteria.

Cage-free Chicken Eggs

We have pledged to ensure that, by 2025, all Private Brand fresh eggs will be from barn-raised, free-range or organic chickens. These three systems follow a set of animal welfare criteria and require, for instance, a larger area available per hen, straw bales for the animals to peck at, and greater freedom of movement, among other conditions.

At the end of 2021, Biedronka stopped purchasing fresh eggs laid by caged hens from its suppliers, bringing forward its commitment to only sell cage-free eggs by four years. Since 2019, Pingo Doce has only sold cage-free eggs in its assortment of Private Brands. Biedronka has only been selling Private Brand fresh eggs since the end of 2019.

Practices at Jerónimo Martins Agro-Alimentar

Jerónimo Martins Agro-Alimentar is certified in the responsible use of antibiotics in its meat production and dairy farm operations, having obtained an overall score of 100%. This certification guarantees that antibiotics are used for therapeutic purposes only.

These operations are also Animal Welfair™ certified, under the European Welfare Quality and AWIN® standards, as is sheep production.

More than 90% of the farmers that supply the Terra Alegre dairy factory are Welfair™ certified based on the AWIN® indicators, allowing disclosure on Pingo Doce fresh milk packaging of animal welfare certification, according to the Welfair™ protocol, using the AENOR label. The protocol has four basic principles: feed, ambient conditions, health, and proper animal behaviour.

These are some of the measures that allowed us to achieve these results:


Cattle are reared in an area of 6.5 m2 or more per animal, with grooved concrete or rubber flooring to prevent the animals from slipping and getting hurt. We also replace straw used for bedding every day to ensure their comfort and well-being.


There is at least one bed per cow and 0.6 m of feeding space. All animals have access to automatic massage brushes, and ambient music is played to reduce stress. Animals have collars to monitor activity that enable early detection of pathologies through behavioural changes, thus reducing the use of drugs.

We also ensure the following in our dairy and Aberdeen Angus beef operations:

  • mandatory training in animal welfare for all employees in contact with the animals;
  • vaccination and de-worming of all animals;
  • no electronic shocks, sticks or any system that may hurt the animals are used when moving or handling them;
  • an automatic cooling system with fans;
  • no animals are subject to mutilation (e.g. tail docking and dehorning), and they all have freedom of movement.

We ensure a 0.6 m2 minimum area per animal (above the recommended good practice of 0.5 m2) and feed based on forage and concentrate. None of the animals is castrated, and they all have freedom of movement.


We ensure the vaccination of all the fish we raise in the open sea and that they have a density of 15 kg/m3 or less. We also ensure that none of the fish is subject to mutilation practices (e.g. cutting of fins), and we use ice-cold water for rapid cooling of body temperature to desensitize the animals.

Jerónimo Martins Agro-Alimentar

Learn more about this business area, created in 2014 to support food distribution operations.