Celebrating another year of better welfare

As we wind down towards the end of another year, our team at RSPCA Australia are reflecting on all that’s been achieved for farm animals in 2019. It’s been another big year with lots to celebrate – we’re really proud of how the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme continues to improve the lives of farm animals across the country.

Read on for just a few highlights.

Even more brands committing to higher welfare by choosing RSPCA Approved

In 2019, we’ve seen even more major Aussie brands stepping up and using RSPCA Approved ingredients for their products.

Mr Lee’s, a much-loved brand serving high quality, premium instant noodles, have committed to sourcing RSPCA Approved chicken, giving customers the chance to choose not just tastier noodles as a snack, but more humane options in the supermarket aisle. It’s great to see RSPCA Approved has also taken to the skies in 2019, with Mr Lee’s noodles now available on Virgin Australia domestic flights.

Woolworths continue to progress their own public commitments to humane food, with 95% of their own-brand products containing chicken as an ingredient, now using RSPCA Approved chicken. This builds on their existing commitment to source only RSPCA Approved chicken across their fresh own-brand range.

Meanwhile, Coles continue to kick goals for better welfare by expanding their free range RSPCA Approved chicken line to even more states, and recently launched the new Slow Hills chicken range, bringing the first slower-growing breed of chicken to Aussie consumers. Australia’s only RSPCA Approved turkey will be hitting the shelves in Coles in the lead up to Christmas.

And if you’re wanting to eat humane on the run, you’ll be pleased to know that Oporto are now sourcing 100% of their chicken from RSPCA Approved producers, making their burgers even better.

Every single brand that chooses RSPCA Approved is making a huge difference for animal welfare, by not only supporting producers who are committed to raising their animals to higher welfare standards, but also by providing compassionate Australians with a better choice when they’re choosing their food.

Sara, Certification Coordinator “Seeing that more Australians want to see better standards for farmed fish is a positive step in ensuring they are farmed with a focus on welfare. I’m looking forward to continuing our work with Huon Aquaculture, who are the only RSPCA Approved salmon producer.”

Raising the standards for meat chickens

We’re always working to continuously improve the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards, and to keep raising the bar wherever we can to make an even bigger impact for animals.

This year was very exciting, as our new Standards for Meat Chickens were finalised and published in August, and will come into effect by March 2020. The review was a rigorous process aimed at assessing the impact of the Standards, and we were able to raise the bar once again.

RSPCA Approved standards are publicly available, on our website.

Nikki, Certification Coordinator – “I’m excited for the implementation of the new Meat Chicken Standards in March 2020. With each revision of the Standards the bar is raised, improving the welfare of millions of animals. In 2020 we also anticipate more outdoor pig and meat chicken farms joining the scheme and meeting our Standards, I look forward to working with you.”

Katrina, Certification Coordinator “In 2020 we’ll be releasing revised Turkey standards, meaning that we are able to collaboratively work with our turkey producers to continually make welfare improvements for turkeys farmed in Australia.”

Over 2 billion animals living better lives since 1996

Earlier in the year, we launched our 2018 Approved Farming Scheme Impact Report, sharing the fantastic strides made for farm animal welfare under the scheme to date. Excitingly, we were able to announce that over 2 billion animals have been raised to higher welfare standards under the Approved Farming Scheme since its inception in 1996.

As the RSPCA continues to advocate for animal welfare to be prioritised in legislation and industry Standards and Guidelines, two decades on, the Approved Farming Scheme continues to provide a way for producers to actively enhance animal welfare on farm, and for consumers to be able to make more humane choices.

Hope, Humane Food Manager – “I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the producers across Australia working hard to give farm animals a better quality of life, by farming to RSPCA Approved Standards. This thanks is also extended to the brands sourcing from RSPCA Approved farms and recognising the value of giving their customers confidence that the products they buy come from farms with a focus on welfare. 2020 is looking to be an exciting year for the scheme as new farms join us on this journey”

Connecting consumers to the food on their plate

2019 also saw the launch of the RSPCA’s Humane Food podcast series!

We know many Australians want to be more informed on farm animal welfare, and to truly understand how animals are reared for food, and fibre in Australia.

The Humane Food podcast features seven episodes on a range of topics about farm animal welfare, and has been a well received, with people tuning in from across the world to hear from our team of experts, and animal welfare advocates.

Season two of the podcast is in the works, so stay tuned – and in the meantime, you can catch the first season on our website, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Talulah, Humane Food Marketing Officer – “Being able to connect to new audiences via podcasts has been a fantastic way of sharing more information on farm animal welfare in Australia today. I can’t wait to share season 2 with our listeners in 2020.”

Thank you for sharing the journey with us

As always, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting farm animal welfare, and sharing this journey with us. As we enter a new decade in 2020, it’s worth reflecting on just how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go in improving the lives of farm animals.

We can’t wait to hit the ground running next year – and it’s the commitment and support of our producers, RSPCA Approved brands, and the community that make it all possible.

From all of us, have a fantastic holiday season, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Want more? What I didn’t know about humane food or What it means to shop better, eat better this holiday season

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