It’s been twenty years since the RSPCA established the Approved Farming Scheme and as Christmas approaches and the year draws to a close, we’re thankful that the future is looking bright for farm animals. We’re very excited that 2017 will continue to give consumers the confidence and choice to eat humanely.
To celebrate another successful year, we wanted to share with you five things the RSPCA Approved team are feeling grateful for this year:
1. Better conditions for Australia’s most intensively farmed animals
Since the Scheme started in 1996, more than 805 million hens, pigs, chickens and turkeys have benefited from significantly better conditions on farm. This is a big deal – enabling hens to nest, chickens to perch, turkeys to forage and pigs to roam gives these animals a life worth living.
2. The leaders and the change makers
Leaders in all areas of production – farmers, brand owners and retailers – have played an important role in meeting growing consumer demand for ethically produced food.
We’ve worked with some of these brands for more than 10 years and have come to know their families, their staff and their passion for ensuring farm animals enjoy the creature comforts.
There have been some real game changers too – the forward-thinking decision by Coles and Woolworths to source RSPCA Approved chicken for their own brand has seen the Scheme grow exponentially in the last two years alone. RSPCA Approved chicken is now also used exclusively in some of our favourite casual dining restaurants, including Grill’d Healthy Burgers, Zambrero and the newest addition Fonda Mexican. This has us pretty excited!
3. Animal welfare a priority for the Australian chicken meat industry
Recent years have seen some positive moves forward for animal welfare and the most noteworthy has been the chicken meat industry’s significant uptake of the RSPCA’s animal welfare standards . In 2013, around 13% of Australia’s meat chicken production was RSPCA Approved – today, it’s more than 63% and still on the rise! This is huge and demonstrates that it’s possible to keep animal welfare standards high while meeting demand for meat products – good news for more than 397 million chickens every year who now have an environment that ensures better health and comfort for their entire lives.
4. Supportive farmers and industry groups
Through the Scheme, the RSPCA works with a number of stakeholders, including farmers and industry groups, to establish Australia as a leader in best farming practice. With input from these groups and consideration of the available science and best practice, the RSPCA’s comprehensive and robust animal welfare standards continue to make an enormous difference to the lives of millions of farm animals.
5. Greater awareness of farm animal welfare
When the Scheme started, there was far less consumer awareness around animal welfare in farming. Now, 4 out of 5 Australians believe that it’s important that the meat, egg and dairy products sold in Australia are farmed in a humane and ethical way*. More people are conscious of the impact their choices have on farm animals and are making more compassionate choices – both in the supermarket and when dining out. We’re eternally grateful for people like you for voting with your wallet and driving demand for more humanely farmed meat and animal products!
It’s onwards and upwards from here! And by choosing RSPCA Approved for your table this holiday season, not only will you be supporting ethical farming practices, you’ll also be supporting Australian farmers and brands that care about animal welfare.
What more? Have a read of our latest Impact Report
*McCrindle Research April 2015