Well known to Canberra locals, Pialligo Estate – a working farm focusing on fruit and vegetable, olive and wine production – are now bringing their smokehouse range and ready-to-eat meals to independent stores across New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
And that’s good news for animal welfare, as Pialligo Estate source chicken and smoked salmon from farms with the RSPCA Approved certification. That’s why we recently sat down with the team at Pialligo to find out more about their business and their commitment to sourcing locally and responsibly – and how these commitments are making a difference for animal welfare.
As Wayne from Pialligo Estate tells us, this family business is committed to making sure that the farms that they source from raise their animals to higher welfare standards.
“As farmers ourselves we understand the difficulties involved when trying to raise standards of food production,” says Wayne.
“At the Estate we are constantly evaluating ways that we can improve the way that we farm our own land, for example, with a zero-waste approach to farm production and a commitment to using regenerative farming techniques wherever possible.
“It is for these reasons that we have chosen to source our chicken and salmon from producers with RSPCA Approved certification, who are dedicated to farm animal welfare and regularly assessed by RSPCA Assessors.
“For our award-winning range of smoked chicken, for example, the Smokehouse uses a local supplier to source premium chicken cuts from Australian farms with the RSPCA Approved certification.”
But of course, we know that consumers want to know – what does this actually mean for animal welfare?
For meat chickens on farms with RSPCA Approved certification, this means that they’re reared in an enriched environment, with space to move about freely, good lighting to encourage activity and proper dark periods for rest, perches for improving leg and muscle health, interesting objects to peck and quality litter to forage and dustbathe in. Farms are assessed regularly by specially trained Assessors to ensure all 312 welfare requirements are being met, with an additional 109 requirements assessed at abattoirs to ensure that the birds experience a humane death as well as a good life.
And with the growing awareness around fish welfare – especially due to the fact that fish can feel pain and suffering and so animal welfare must be a consideration – sourcing salmon with welfare in mind is just as important to the Pialligo Estate team. By choosing RSPCA Approved salmon this means that they are sourcing salmon farmed with a focus on welfare for the entire life cycle of the fish. Farmed Atlantic salmon from producers with RSPCA Approved certification are provided with space to swim and perform natural schooling behaviours in oxygen-rich water. There’s a focus on keeping fish free from injury and disease and they’re handled carefully in a manner that avoids causing undue stress. And just like with other species, there’s hundreds of requirements – 505 to be exact – that producers have to meet to maintain the certification, all while being subjected to multiple assessments per year from trained RSPCA Assessors.
A key focus for the team at Pialligo is educating customers and fellow businesses alike about responsible sourcing – a passion we share at the RSPCA.
“We see education of the consumer as key and encourage other businesses to try and do likewise to raise consumer awareness of the many benefits that higher welfare farming brings, says Wayne.
Look for the RSPCA Approved certification on Pialligo Smokehouse chicken and salmon products direct from the Pialligo Market Grocer and independent retailers in the ACT, NSW and Victoria.
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