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Making it easier for Australian businesses to do the right thing for animal welfare

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  • RSPCA Australia
  • Tuesday, 4 May 2021

When it comes to sourcing animal-based products for food and clothing responsibly, there’s a lot that individual businesses can do.  

For a long time – and often behind the scenes - the RSPCA has helped businesses improve animal welfare throughout their supply chains. We’ve done this by providing expert advice on particular welfare issues and helping to identify where and how businesses can make lasting changes for the better. 

To make this advice more accessible, we’ve recently launched a suite of responsible sourcing guides. Now more companies have a starting point and expert guidance to work on this very important issue.


What’s in our guides

Our responsible sourcing resources break down complex issues and questions about supply chains into a clear and concise format. There are 16 different species-specific guides, covering animals as diverse as layer hens, crustaceans and dairy cattle; as well as guidance on how to develop an animal welfare policy and define your key procurement goals. 

Here are the four areas that are covered within these new resources:

How to Develop an Animal Welfare Policy – helps a business design and implement a policy that’s impactful and meaningful for animal welfare.  

Production Process – provides a species-specific background on how animals are farmed in Australia. Understanding how an animal is farmed to produced food or fibre is a central part of reviewing animal welfare standards within the supply chain.

Supply Chain Analysis – analyses the supply chain across 16 different species. Once a business has undertaken this initial analysis, a more detailed and productive discussion can happen on specific animal welfare issues.

Key Procurement Goals – provides quick and easy guidance on what a business should do to improve animal welfare. This guidance is based on the Australian market and should help create meaningful and continuous improvement for animal welfare. One-way organisations can meet consumer expectations is by setting clear procurement goals for both the short and long term and making sure these are publicly available.   

Australians care about animals. Forward-thinking businesses that consider animal welfare in their operations enhance and retain their social licence to operate, identify market opportunities, increase brand reputation and are part of a growing movement that cares about the welfare of animals.


Here’s what you can do

There are a number of ways in which these guides may be useful to you. 

They might be relevant to your place of work, especially if your business is reviewing sourcing policies. If supply chain analysis or procurement isn’t your area, consider forwarding these resources to colleagues, friends and family members who work in the area or may be interested. 

If you care about animal welfare and you’re querying companies about their supply chains and products, you can forward the guides to provide them with more information and insight. This not only shows this company or brand that, as a consumer, you care about animal welfare; but also goes a step further by offering practical information on how they can make a lasting, positive change. 

Lastly, the guides are teeming with information for the everyday consumer who is interested in the welfare of animals used for food and fibre. They can help inform your decisions when purchasing food, pet food and clothing, and provide you with the tools and informed questions to ask when approaching companies and brands.

Take a look at the full suite of responsible sourcing guides here.

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