16 May 1997

Freedom Foods to go abroad?

FREEDOM Foods, the RSPCAs welfare labelling scheme, is looking at the possibility of expanding overseas to ensure imported meat is reared and produced to similar standards as in the UK.

Interest in the scheme, which was launched in July 1994, has come from a number of nations, including New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, France, Sweden, Holland, Canada and the Republic of Ireland.

Tracy Dawson, Freedom Foods spokeswoman, said there was considerable interest from abroad. But she admitted there would be hurdles in setting up overseas schemes due to the difficulty in interpreting domestic member states legislation.

"This could be set up in a year, or it might be years away," she added.

Freedom Foods has been growing at a rapid rate over the past 12 months. It is set to announce in July that it has 11m farm animals under the label.