RSPCA Assured is an ethical food label dedicated to farm animal welfare. Its intention is to ensure all farm animals have a good life and are treated with compassion and respect. The RSPCA Assured label makes it easy to recognise products from animals that have had a better life. There are more than 1,300 different labelled products.
While its roots are in England and Wales, it also undertakes international outreach work across Europe, Africa and Asia.
Photo credit: Alex Caminada
In 2017, the RSPCA received backing from a US based foundation to export its RSPCA Assured standards to the Chinese livestock market. The RSPCA produces animal welfare standards for each of the major animal species, developed using a range of information including the latest scientific research and practical farming experience.
If there’s an RSPCA Assured label on the packaging of the eggs, fish and meat that you buy, you know the farms - and everyone else involved in the animals’ lives - have been assessed and meet RSPCA animal welfare standards.
The farms, hauliers and abattoirs approved by RSPCA Assured have been assessed to the RSPCA’s farm animal welfare standards. The standard is included in meat from several large UK and European retailers, including Aldi, Coop, Sainsbury and Lidl. All McDonalds sausage and bacon meat in its Breakfast McMuffins and burgers are from RSPCA Assured member farms.
The standard was established in 1994, originally branded Freedom Food, and remains the only scheme in the UK dedicated to farm animal welfare. It is estimated that, since its foundation, 700 million farm animals have been raised in accordance with the RSPCA Assured standard.
In the four years since it rebranded, recognition amongst its target market (young professionals and families) now stands at 58 per cent compared to the 19% when the new logo first launched in 2015.
The RSPCA itself is the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world. The charity was founded in 1824 by political reformers including William Wilberforce MP, a leader of the movement to eradicate the slave trade. It was granted Royal Status by Queen Victoria in 1840. Today, it investigates around 150,000 complaints a year.