Opinion Former Article

RSPCA Freedom Food launches first ever annual report

2011 - a year of major farm animal achievements

With the trend for ethical purchasing continuing apace, a new report today from Freedom Food - the RSPCA’s food labelling scheme to mark its Farm Animal Week - is proof consumer demand for higher welfare food remains unshaken despite the economic slump.

The ‘impact report’ – Improving the lives of farm animals - is a snapshot of key Freedom Food achievements and significant milestones for farm animal welfare in 2011, against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment.

Highlights in 2011 include:

— More than 75 million animals benefitted from being reared to RSPCA welfare standards under Freedom Food – a 52% increase over the last five years

— Freedom Food achieved a record-breaking 3,382 members

— New RSPCA standards to further improve levels of natural light for meat chickens were implemented on Freedom Food farms

— Freedom Food achieved nearly 28% of UK pig production, which means more than 2.5 million pigs came from farms monitored by the RSPCA

— Freedom Food recruited 363 new members (out of 524 new applicants)

— A new set of animal-based ‘welfare outcome’ measures were introduced for laying hen producers as part of their annual assessment to help further improve welfare

— The last two major Scottish salmon producers signed up to become members which means more than 90% of Scottish salmon will be farmed to RSPCA welfare standards within the next two years

— RSPCA standards made CCTV compulsory in all Freedom Food approved abattoirs

— Achieved more than 1,000 different Freedom Food labelled products in supermarkets and independent stores giving consumers their greatest ever welfare choice

Leigh Grant, chief executive of Freedom Food, said: “Improving the lives of farm animals is the most comprehensive measure of Freedom Food’s work to improve farm animal welfare throughout last year.

“We are proud of what we, through working in close partnership with the RSPCA’s farm animals department and our Freedom Food members, have achieved despite the tough climate we are working in. 

“At the start of the recession we fully expected to have a rough ride trying to keep farm animal welfare at the forefront of shoppers’ minds. But what this report shows is that consumers have remained firmly committed and in fact increased demand for Freedom Food products, which has meant major improvements for farm animals.

“We hope in the years to come that the information detailed in this report will be expanded and to report on many more major successes for farm animal welfare.”

This week is Farm Animal Week (18-24 June) and Freedom Food is asking people who care about the lives of farm animals to choose higher welfare food, such as Freedom Food. The more people that do, the more animals will be reared to higher welfare standards and have a better life. 

Visit www.freedomfood.co.uk/farmanimalweek to find out more and to download the Impact Report click www.freedomfood.co.uk/impactreport

 

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For further information, please contact Rebecca Lenik, Freedom Food press officer on 01403 801283 or rlenik@freedomfood.co.uk or Carole Stewart on 0207 630 6633 or carole@hammondpr.co.uk 

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