Poll calls for better welfare
THREE-QUARTERS of consumers surveyed in a poll to mark the third anniversary of the RSPCAs Freedom Foods scheme would like to see better welfare for Britains farm animals.
Nearly half the 2000 people surveyed said they would take animal welfare into consideration when buying meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
Junior farm minister, Elliot Morley, said the scheme, which now has 1700 members selling products in 3000 stores, had helped raise quality assurance standards across all sectors of agriculture. By incorporating the producer, abattoir and retailer, the scheme had brought "reliability of validity" to consumers, added Mr Morley.
But while consumers may want to buy products reared in welfare-friendly ways, farmers claimed many consumers had little understanding of the Freedom Foods scheme. Minty Mackay, secretary of High-land Drovers Branded Beef, said the RSPCA needed to launch a publicity drive to alert consumers to the benefits of Freedom Foods. *