As January draws to a close we’ve been thinking about what we hope 2017 will hold for us. There’s something about the start of a new year that encourages fresh approaches and new ways of thinking. For 2017 we’re excited to forgo New Year resolutions (let’s face it, those gym memberships will go unused for eleven months of the year anyway) in favour of something a little different.
We’ve chosen one word that is going to help give our thoughts and actions focus for the year. Drumroll please….
As conscious consumers, we’re aware that our buying choices have an impact. How products are sourced, made or farmed and in turn how the environment, people and animals are treated reflects our choices.
So here’s how we’re going to have impact in 2017 and we need your help.
Making good choices in the supermarket
Shopping for groceries can be stressful. You’ve got meals to plan, a budget to stick to and trolleys with a wonky wheel as you navigate the aisles. It can be tempting to get in and out as fast as you can, grabbing the first or cheapest products you can find. But being mindful about the food you put in your trolley matters. By choosing products that come from humane farming systems you’ll have an impact on the future of farming. Your buying decisions tell producers, brand owners and retailers that farm animal welfare matters to customers.
Sometimes it’s tricky to know which brands prioritise welfare which is why the RSPCA established its farm assurance program, the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, more than 20 years ago. Every day the scheme is working closely with participating Australian farmers and so far together we’ve improved the lives of more than 805 million farm animals! But we want to have a greater impact and you can support us and the hard working producers and brand owners just by looking for RSPCA Approved products. They’re not hard to find either with hundreds of products available in both major supermarkets and many independents nationally.
Keep your eyes peeled for some new RSPCA Approved products in 2017 too! We’re excited for new eggs, chicken and pork products hitting the shelves this year with RSPCA Approved labels. There are some out of the ordinary new products too like Campbell’s Real Stock – chicken stock now using exclusively RSPCA Approved chicken!
With the recent release of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme standards – farmed Atlantic salmon we’re also working hard to bring you a salmon product that’s RSPCA Approved. While we don’t have a product available yet, we’re hoping 2017 will see a positive impact on the welfare of fish farmed in Australia. You can help – if salmon is often on the table in your house, we would like to encourage you to get in touch with your favourite brand and ask them to be RSPCA Approved. Watch this space!
Supporting ethical eating spots
Whether you’re trying new food at new places or eating at your favourite cosy café, going out to eat is one of life’s simple joys and we hope your 2017 is filled with many of these!
Choosing to frequent eating spots that offer higher welfare food is another way to make a positive impact on the life of farm animals. Dining out and supporting animal welfare at the same time? Talk about a win-win. We’re loving that more and more venues are putting humane food on their menu. Just last year, some of our favourite big names Grill’d and Zambrero put 100% RSPCA Approved chicken on their menu.
Some venues are quite open about their food’s journey from paddock to plate, while others are quiet achievers. The RSPCA’s Choose Wisely initiative makes it easy to find out which cafes and restaurants are serving humane food in your area so you can support them and have an impact on their food choices.
If one of your favourite haunts serves cage-free eggs or higher welfare pork or chicken, and isn’t on Choose Wisely – get them on board! Encourage them to sign up to Choose Wisely or add them yourself as a customer suggestion! It’s free and easy to do and will have a big impact on spreading the word about ethical eating spots
Your choices matter
It can easily feel like the things we do don’t make an impact in the grand scheme of things. But when it comes to making ethical choices in the supermarket or when you’re dining out, these seemingly small decisions can make a positive difference to farm animals over time. And by talking about your choices with friends and family, who knows, that circle of impact might grow beyond what you could ever have imagined.