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60 Per Cent Of Scottish Salmon Reared Through Freedom Foods

Welfare Food safety & handling +3 more

UK - A record-breaking 532 million farm animals are being reared to RSPCA higher welfare standards under our Freedom Food scheme - a 46 per cent increase since 2008 - proving that British shoppers are standing firm by animal welfare in 2010.

Top of the Freedom Food charts is salmon – up a whopping 56 per cent in 2009, from just over 281 million in 2008 to nearly 440 million fish. This represents about 60 per cent of Scottish salmon production.

Early signs this year already show the trend is set to continue, with more than 13,000 animals coming on board just last month. This is proof, Freedom Food says, that despite the credit crunch, higher welfare food continues to make an impact on British shoppers.

This news follows a recent consumer survey from IGD, the food and grocery research body, that found that animal welfare standards have risen up the list of priorities for shoppers when choosing food and grocery products.

In January 2010, 19 per cent of shoppers said that animal welfare standards influenced their shopping decisions, compared with just 10 per cent in 2006.

Leigh Grant, Freedom Food chief executive, said: "Faced with the credit crunch we were worried the number of animals under Freedom Food would also take a downturn.

"But thanks to consistent consumer demand for higher welfare, the opposite has happened. More than 530 million animals are now being reared to the RSPCA’s welfare standards, compared to one million when the scheme began 15 years ago. We had more applications from farmers wanting to join the scheme last year than ever before.

"It’s incredibly encouraging that in spite of the economic decline, people don’t want to compromise on animal welfare and are still prepared to pay a little more for Freedom Food labelled products. And as we start to head out of recession I’ve no doubt we will see the trend accelerate even more."