THE Co-operative Group has become the first retailer to be awarded the British Union for the Abolition of Vivesection's new cruelty-free standard for household products.
The BUAV''s new Humane Household Products Standard is the world's only reliable and international standard for household products that are not tested on animals.
The Co-op has one of the most stringent policies on animal testing of any retailer and guarantees that none of its own-label household products or ingredients have been tested on animals by the Co-op or its suppliers since 1997.
Co-op cosmetics and toiletry products already carry the BUAV Humane Cosmetics Standard `bunny` logo and the Co-op, which was one of the first to commit to the independent cruelty-free criteria, is backing national Cruelty-Free Week (Monday 5 July to Sunday 11 July) as part of its commitment.
Lauren Bates, corporate relations manager at the BUAV, commented: `As the first supermarket own-label brand to be approved under the BUAV's Humane Household Products Standard, the Co-op has shown that it is possible to provide a wide range of quality, effective and safe household products without the need for animal testing.`
Adrian Hill, policy and standards manager for Co-op brand, said: `Being the first supermarket to be accredited under the Humane Household Products Standard represents a significant achievement and reinforces our commitment to responsible retailing. The Co-op will continue to campaign on animal welfare issues and seek ways to reduce the amount of unnecessary animal testing carried out.`
To draw attention to the issues and highlight National Cruelty-Free Week, the Co-op has produced special in-store point-of-sale material simply stating `There's no animal testing on Co-op brand household products and toiletries – it's how it should be.`
In addition, it is running a `BOGOF` (buy one, get one free) promotion on several Co-op household products and toiletries, as well as special offers on a number of own-label products carrying the cruelty-free symbol.