RSPCA Assured, previously Freedom Food, is the RSPCA’s farm assurance and food labelling scheme.
It aims to improve the welfare of animals farmed for our food. RSPCA Assured assesses farms, hauliers and abattoirs to the RSPCA’s strict welfare standards. If they meet every standard, the RSPCA Assured label can be used on their product.
RSPCA Assured allows free-range, organic, indoor and outdoor farms to join its scheme as long as the RSPCA’s welfare standards can be met.
The RSPCA Assured label stands for exactly the same RSPCA animal welfare standards as the Freedom Food label did. The standards cover every aspect of the animals' lives.
The only way of knowing if a product is RSPCA Assured is if it has the label on it. If it doesn't have the RSPCA Assured label then it is unlikely to have been reared to RSPCA welfare standards.
We believe RSPCA Assured will help even more farm animals have a better life, farmed to RSPCA welfare standards. It has the potential to help about 100 million more farm animals, plus many millions more salmon and trout, within the next five years alone.
The RSPCA is by far the most recognised animal welfare charity in the UK, and RSPCA Assured is the mark consumers have told us they want, recognise, understand and trust.
There are actually very few free-range farms in the UK, so if RSPCA Assured only approved free-range farms it would be failing to help improve the lives of the greater majority of farm animals, who often live in poor conditions.
Also, good animal welfare is not as simple as indoor versus outdoors as both methods have their pros and cons.
More importantly, it comes down to good practice and management, and working to good standards whether indoor or outdoor, free-range or organic.
RSPCA Assured scheme assessors inspect every farm annually. In addition, at least 30 per cent of farms receive a monitoring visit by an RSPCA farm livestock officer – most of these visits are unannounced.
If an RSPCA Assured scheme member doesn't meet the RSPCA welfare standards they may be suspended or permanently removed from the scheme, depending on the severity of the non-compliance. In the case of more minor infringements, ie anything that does not have a direct impact on the health and welfare of an animal (eg record-keeping), they will be given a short period in which to prove that they have put the problem right. If they fail to do so, they may also be suspended or removed from the scheme.
Freedom Food will continue to be our 'business to business' brand and the name of the company.
The Freedom Food name has built up a strong reputation over the last 20 years within the food and farming industries. It's beneficial for our members – and our work with the wider farming industry – for us to keep it.
RSPCA Assured is a farm animal welfare assurance provider. So, we inspect and assure farms to the RSPCA’s higher farm animal welfare standards, but don’t own any ourselves.
Farms on the RSPCA Assured scheme pay us a membership fee and a licence fee to use the logo. These fees cover the cost of our inspections and also help us achieve our mission of improving the lives of animals. As a charity, we do not profit from money paid to us and do not receive any public or government funding, so we need to charge these fees.
We don’t promote eating animal products. Our primary mission is always to promote animal welfare and to raise the standards by which animals are reared, transported and slaughtered. We do this by informing the public, so they can make choices knowing where their food has come from.
All of our TV advertisements are filmed on actual RSPCA Assured farms. While not all of RSPCA Assured egg farms are free-range, the majority are, so by featuring those in our ads, we show what the majority of laying hen farms on our scheme is really like.
The RSPCA cares about all animals, that’s why the decision was made to set up RSPCA Assured so it could dedicate time and resources to helping improve the lives of farm animals. In fact, the RSPCA was founded to help the welfare of farm animals that were being transported to slaughter in 1824.
Dairy farms on the RSPCA Assured scheme pay a membership fee and a fee to use our logo like any other farm. We use this money to cover the cost of our inspections and also to help us improve the lives of animals. As a charity, we don’t make any profit from these fees and do not receive any public or government funding.
RSPCA Assured started as Freedom Food in 1994 but was rebranded as RSPCA Assured in 2015. RSPCA Assured is easy to spot and awareness and recognition of the RSPCA brand mean higher demand for RSPCA Assured products.
If you have a question about RSPCA Assured which is not answered here, then please contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Red Tractor’s ‘enhanced welfare’ label has adopted some of the RSPCA’s key on-farm welfare standards for chicken and this is great news.
However, Red Tractor’s ‘enhanced welfare’ label has only adopted some of the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards for chickens on farms. It hasn’t adopted any of the RSPCA’s key higher welfare standards for transport and slaughter, which are also important areas of chicken production. Find out more about Red Tractor’s ‘enhanced welfare’.
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