UK - Freedom Food, the RSPCA’s farm animal welfare assurance and labelling scheme, is to be rebranded for the consumer market in 2015 as ‘RSPCA Assured’.
The move comes as the scheme celebrates its 20th anniversary and is in response to research showing that the majority of consumers would recognise and trust an RSPCA farm animal welfare mark.1
The RSPCA has 96 per cent prompted awareness and is by far the most recognised animal welfare charity in the UK.2
"This is a natural next step for the scheme," said Jeremy Cooper, Freedom Food’s CEO.
"We know from our research that by using a brand so closely aligned to the RSPCA, consumers will immediately recognise it as an animal welfare mark.
"We believe it will bring significant benefits to our members, retailers and to the food service industry - and help bring RSPCA welfare standards to millions more farm animals."
The rebrand will be supported by a sustained brand marketing campaign which will launch with TV advertising in 2015, with the new mark appearing on products once it has been through the registration process with the UKIPO (United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office).
The rebrand aims to clearly position the label as identifying products that have come from farm animals inspected to RSPCA welfare standards – whether indoors, outdoors, free range or organic.
Mike Tomlinson, chairman of the RSPCA Council of Trustees said: "The RSPCA has been committed to improving farm animal welfare since its foundation in 1824, and the launch of Freedom Food 20 years ago provided a unique opportunity to progress that aim "
According to IGD research 48 per cent of Britons3 say farm animal welfare is very important to them and Mintel research shows that animal welfare is more important to British shoppers than whether a product is Fairtrade or free from pesticides4.
Mr Tomlinson added: "It is clear animal welfare is still high on the agenda. This move will make it much easier for shoppers to find the higher welfare products they are looking for."
The new RSPCA Assured mark is consumer facing. The Freedom Food brand will continue for business to business activity and will still be the name of the limited company. Freedom Food will use the consumer facing RSPCA Assured brand under licence from the RSPCA.
The name ‘Freedom Food’ was originally influenced by the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s Five Freedoms when the scheme was launched in 1994. http://www.fawc.org.uk/freedoms.htm
1 A programme of qualitative and quantitative research was carried out by Freedom Food in late 2013 and early 2014 including focus groups run by brand agency Your Future London in London and Leeds and consumer polls run by Toluna Ltd
2 npfSynergy, Charity Awareness Monitor 2014
3 IGD research report: Shopper Attitudes to farm animal welfare 2011
4 Provenance in Food and Drink – Mintel report March 2013 – Appendix: Which issues matter.
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