You may easily have missed this statement on the Waitrose website! In fact, it took me 15 minutes to find it and I was told that it was there and what the wording was. You certainly wouldn’t find it easily if, for example, you’d heard that Waitrose had gone lead-free and you wanted to buy some lead-free game meat. It’s a poor show, I’m afraid. It isn’t up front at all.
Having said that, having seen the explanation I would be prepared to cut Waitrose a bit of slack this year – but not very much. They got loads of good publicity for what they were going to do and they have hidden away the information saying that they can’t actually do it.
Lead shot pledge
Waitrose & Partners is the largest retailer of game in the UK. We sell prepared wood pigeon, partridge and pheasant during the season. We are supplied by a single game dealer who ensures all the game source is from environmentally minded British shoots and reared to the highest standards. We monitor the shoots we source from and expect them to adhere to our bespoke standards of animal welfare and shoot behaviour.
From the 2019-20 season we began phasing out the use of lead shot on the Estates from which we source our game. We publicly stated that all the Estates we buy from will be required to use lead alternatives such as steel or bismuth from season 2020/21. We are disappointed that the COVID-19 outbreak has set back our plans as many of the Estates that supported our pledge are not shooting this season. However, we expect that more than half of the game on our shelves will be lead free during the 2020/21 season. As a result, our game will continue to carry the FSA lead warning which states “Consuming lead is harmful, health experts advise to minimise lead consumption as much as possible. Anyone who eats lead-shot game should be aware of the risks posed by consuming large amounts of lead, especially children and pregnant women.” In agreement with our game supplier, we are now pledging that by season 2021-22 all Waitrose & Partners game will be brought to bag without the use of lead ammunition.https://www.waitrose.com/home/inspiration/about_waitrose/the_waitrose_way/waitrose_animal_welfarecommitments.html