Freedom Food is an assurance and food labelling scheme backed by the RSPCA, the scheme uses the strict animal welfare and husbandry standards laid down by the RSPCA. Freedom Food first introduced welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon in 2002.
These welfare standards cover every aspect of the animal's life, including feed and water provision, their environment, how they're managed, health care, transport and humane slaughter. Along with other requirements the standards ensure the fish are given a nourishing diet and a comfortable and stimulating environment which meets their physical and behavioural needs.
Freedom Food welfare standards are produced by scientific officers in the Farm Animals Department, of the RSPCA. They are drafted using information sourced from leading scientific, veterinary and industry expertise. Technical Working Groups are used to gain input from Freedom Food members and update standards periodically.
There are over ten separate RSPCA welfare standards specific to the farming of many animals in the UK, of which the RSPCA Welfare Standards for Farmed Atlantic Salmon are one. With over 70% of Scottish salmon now Freedom Food certified the scheme continues to provide a firm commitment from Scottish fish farmer’s to provide high quality and healthy fish to all their customers.
The farmed Atlantic salmon standard covers both the fresh water and marine phase of salmon production. It takes into account legislative, scientific and veterinary factors, codes of practice and experience of the aquaculture sector to complete the standard. Furthermore it considers the five freedoms defined by the Farmed Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) which are relevant to fish and fish farming husbandry.
These five freedoms are, freedom from: thirst, hunger and malnutrition; discomfort; pain, injury or disease; to express normal behaviour and fear and distress.
Freedom Food will assess and approve farms, hauliers, slaughter stations to the RSPCA welfare standards. Processors and packers may also apply for traceability and licence fee purposes.
To become Freedom Food certified, fish farms and businesses must undergo an annual assessment audit to the RSPCA welfare standard. This is undertaken by a UKAS nominated certification body. Furthermore, members are subject to random monitoring visits by RSPCA inspectors.
The use of the Freedom Food certification mark on products and menus is strictly subject to Freedom Food’s Certification Mark Guidelines and payment of a Licence Fee
Contacts and further info:
The Freedom Food website provides full details of the RSPCA backed scheme: click here
Full details of the RSPCA Welfare Standard for Farmed Atlantic Salmon can be found here: click here
Details on use of the certification mark can be found here: click here
General enquiries can be made to:
Freedom Food Ltd
West Sussex RH13 9RS
Tel: 0300 123 0014