News: 7 September 2015

Correction on deceptive stuff.co.nz feature story

As you may have noticed we’ve recently been mentioned in an article in the Sunday Star Times newspaper and on stuff.co.nz. Unfortunately there were some incorrect facts and comments that mislead readers that we would like to correct.

We work hard to guarantee high farm animal welfare while keeping products affordable. We assure you that SPCA Blue Tick approved products can be trusted. A global independent expert in food safety and quality, AsureQuality audits SPCA Blue Tick approved farms annually via their auditors that have gone through animal welfare calibration and training. Additional spot audits ensure the standards are maintained throughout the year.

Transparency is key for us and we believe it is important to set the facts straight so everyone can make informed decisions based on facts.


Stuff.co.nz article: SPCA's Blue Tick ruffles feathers

1. Statement/comment:
“... but animals rights group SAFE and iconic free-range egg producer FRENZ say the scheme isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

Fact:
The SPCA Blue Tick standards are drafted by expert consultants in their fields, incorporating current legislation, codes of practice, scientific research, veterinary advice, and practical farm experience. We benchmark our standards against best practices and equivalent SPCA schemes globally.

Additionally, the SPCA Blue Tick standards also account for responsible animal management, skilled stockmanship, environmental design, considerate handling, transport and much more.


2. Statement/comment:
“Despite efforts to lift industry standards, some hens that lay eggs under the SPCA tick never see the light of day, like the Henergy I buy from the local Countdown – an "entry-level" Blue Tick product.”

Fact:
The SPCA Blue Tick Accreditation Scheme is about high animal welfare based on the ‘Five Freedoms’, this includes high welfare/ethically farmed barn eggs. See our Five Freedoms listed here.


3. Statement/comment:
“Odom says the SPCA will accredit farms’ free-range or barn-laid operations if they meet standards even if they are also running caged operations...”

Fact:
The SPCA Blue Tick will never approve any kind of caged operation.

Our goal is to improve farm animal welfare in a commercially sustainable way by helping farmers to come on a transitional journey with us. We provide practical solutions that make the change affordable for them, and their produce affordable for consumers.

We help farmers become SPCA Blue Tick approved across their entire product range. This is a costly exercise so we work together with the farmers to transition the overall business to ‘farm the right way’.

We audit SPCA Blue Tick farms and the overall process from farm to retailer ensuring there is a clear separation, segregation and traceability between their different systems. As a consumer you can rest assured that the products you’re buying is 100 per cent SPCA Blue Tick = high animal welfare.


4. Statement/comment:
“I’m not going to point the finger at SPCA, they do so much good in so many areas, I just think you have to follow the money... what’s happened here is animal welfare is the loser, which is ironic given the people that are promoting it.”

Fact:
The SPCA Blue Tick is an independent Accreditation Scheme. We don’t align ourselves to any industry bodies and farmers do not pay us to be SPCA Blue Tick approved. SPCA Blue Tick Distributors / FMCG brands pay royalties to us for using the SPCA Blue Tick certification logo on their products when the meat/eggs are coming from a SPCA Blue Tick approved farm.

Animal welfare will never be the loser. Our stocking density is in line with other SPCA’s equivalent scheme around the world. We have a yearly independent audit process in place along with spot audits. The SPCA Blue Tick is all about animal welfare with our expert panel guiding us when it comes to our standards.

The SPCA Blue Tick is built on trust and honesty and all aspects of the SPCA Blue Tick Accreditation Scheme are transparent. Our SPCA Blue Tick standards are not hidden and can be find on our website.


5. Statement/comment:
“It's a tough business and a lot of egg, poultry and meat farmers are not up to scratch but the SPCA isn't into "naming and shaming". It understands the significant cost of adapting operations to meet accreditation standards and does not want to move the yardstick too frequently or set it too high."

Fact:
The SPCA Blue Tick standards are drafted by industry experts incorporating current legislation, codes of practice, scientific research, veterinary advice, and practical farm experience. Additionally, the SPCA Blue Tick standards also account for responsible animal management, skilled stockmanship, environmental design, considerate handling, transport and much more.

 

 

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