This is a series relating to RSPCA Assured foods, anyone who has read my blog will know I have written about the RSPCA a few times (Here, Here and Here) and I haven’t always been positive about them. In fact I did say I hated them, which is a very strong word to use (I wrote those posts as a new vegan and when I was a much angrier vegan, partially through guilt of the part I played in the suffering and killing of numerous animals through the years i was a meat eater) so I should clarify that I think what they do for pets is good, but as their name encompasses animals and not just pets, I personally feel that they fail other animals, schemes like this highlight that, in my eyes at least. Hopefully, over the coming weeks I write about the various standards for “higher welfare”, you will see that too. The reason I think it fails the animals is that people may opt for the meat with RSPCA stamped on it and feel they are doing good, when ultimately an animal is still needlessly killed and packaged.
I guess the first thing we should do is explain what RSPCA Assured Foods are. In the simplest form it is a scheme for farmers, slaughterhouses etc to follow which sets out guidelines and rules for raising, transporting and killing animals above the legal minimum and, in return for paying into the scheme and following the guidance, they can sell the product with the RSPCA logo on. You may have seen that on the Sainsbury’s, Co-op and I think Aldi own brands.
It is comparable to ISO standards which a lot of businesses follow. For example I am a trained auditor and also manage ISO standards as part of my job (rock and roll, right?). The company I work for holds ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) and as part of a higher quality standard IATF 16949 which is specific to manufacturers who supply Automotive OEM companies (if ISO 9001 is the higher than minimum standard, this is higher again).
I also manage a standard (although not certified as of yet due to it still being in the draft stage) for Health and Safety which will be called 45001. Anyway, that’s a bit boring, but I’m a geek and enjoy auditing.
So, now that we know in the simplest of forms that RSPCA assured foods are the higher welfare standards and in the interest of fairness, here it is in their own words:
“RSPCA Assured is the RSPCA’s farm assurance and food labelling scheme. RSPCA Assured assesses and approves farms, hauliers and abattoirs that meet all of the applicable RSPCA welfare standards. (Please note that RSPCA Assured does not approve equipment).
Products from animals reared under the RSPCA Assured scheme can be labelled with the scheme’s food label: ‘RSPCA Assured.’ Use of the RSPCA Assured name and mark are strictly subject to RSPCA Assured membership, traceability, licence fee and artwork approval. Membership of the scheme is subject to an annual fee and successful assessment, as well as monitoring visits by Farm Livestock Officers from the RSPCA’s Farm Animals Department.
RSPCA Assured is a charity in its own right and not for profit. Any surplus income goes back into improving farm animal welfare.”
So with that all said, I will post up the first in the series shortly which will relate to Dairy Cows.
I am looking forward to these posts, as of late I have been posting a lot of food and product posts, which are cool and I think they also helps non-vegans see that there are multiple options out there, but I have lacked the time to get stuck in and write more in depth posts such as these. So I hope you find them beneficial, eye opening and possibly something which may make you question your food purchases.