Waitrose will throw down the gauntlet to rivals over animal welfare in a new TV advert starring Heston Blumenthal.

The ad, which will be aired on ITV at 7.35pm tonight, will reveal plans for customers to be able to use smartphones to scan Waitrose own label pork products to receive information on how the pgs were bred.

Waitrose claimed its standards were higher than “some other supermarkets”.

“High welfare values aren’t simply applied to its most premium pork, sausages and bacon, and Waitrose wants to ensure this is understood by its customers,” the retailer said.

The ad, created by advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, will show Blumenthal on a supplier’s farm. He says all Waitrose fresh pork products come from pigs that are bred outdoors then reared in light and airy barns with fresh straw bedding.

The supermarket will introduce QR codes to its own label products from 4 July, with codes to appear on own-label pork, sausages, bacon and gammon as well as on shelf-edge barkers.

 Shoppers will be able to scan the codes with their smartphones to get an insight into the welfare levels on pig farms and information about the farmers responsible for rearing them – as well as recipes and cooking tips.

“At Waitrose we believe animals should be able to express their natural behaviour and our new marketing campaign highlights the lengths we go to ensure that our pork is produced in the right way – even for everyday staples,” said Heather Jenkins, director of buying and agriculture strategy.