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The Spanish INTEROVIC Animal Welfare Certificate (BAIE) becomes a major European benchmark

Date

08 Mar 2022

Sections

Agriculture & Food

The Spanish INTEROVIC Animal Welfare Certificate (BAIE) becomes a major European benchmark

  • The accredited BAIE Animal Welfare Commitment certification seal is the first independent European certification and the result of the work of scientists, animal welfare experts, certifying companies and specialists from different fields.
  • Major supermarket chains have already implemented this European animal welfare label.
  • The European Animal Welfare Commitment programme (2022-2024) will launch this new certificate over the next three years in Spain and Hungary with the aim of meeting new consumer needs.

According to the "Attitudes of Europeans towards Animal Welfare” Eurobarometer:

  • 47% of European citizens do not believe that there is a sufficient variety of animal welfare friendly food.
  • 52% of Europeans look for animal welfare-friendly labels.
  • More than half of all Europeans are willing to pay more for products from animal welfare friendly production systems (59%).

Currently, the market and consumers are showing a strong commitment to animal welfare, as well as choosing meat produced from animals kept in good condition, using sustainable production methods that respect the environment and proper farming and manufacturing practices.

To respond to the new needs of the market and consumers, the Spanish Interprofessional Sheep and Goat Meat Trade Association INTEROVIC has developed the BAIE Animal Welfare Commitment accredited certification seal. The initiative is the result of the work of scientists and experts in animal welfare, certifying companies and specialists from different fields to develop certification standards that guarantee responsible production methods.

"BAIE is the certificate with the highest level of guarantees required by the EU and through which we can guarantee the independence of this certification, its objectivity and its scientific rigour,” INTEROVIC Director Tomás Rodríguez said.

The seal differentiates sheep and goat meat, ensuring the highest quality standards in terms of animal care. It is a symbol that represents a progression towards safer and more sustainable production systems. Some of the most important supermarkets in Spain, such as Carrefour and El Corte Inglés, have been pioneers in becoming distributors of meat with this seal. "We are totally committed to this project, the customer's vision is going to be transformed. It is important that we start to convey this. The methods and systems in which we work as distributors and consumers have to contribute to a more humane treatment of animals," said Luis Bonifacio, meat purchasing manager at Carrefour.

An identity based on a range of requirements

It is important to emphasise that the BAIE Animal Welfare commitment is based on certificates that guarantee that it has been drawn up in accordance with the five freedoms and the animal welfare principles established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and adapted to each sector. In addition, the certification has taken into account three important criteria that define the level of standards, transparency, independence and credibility: the EU Best practice guideline for voluntary certification schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs (2010/C 341/04); the accreditation and certification system established by the National Accreditation Entity (ENAC), the entity appointed and recognised by the Spanish government; and the development of the BAIE Animal Welfare Commitment Certification Schemes by the interprofessional organisation.

Recognition from ENAC is a highlight of the process. The step gives great value to the brand, fulfilling the role of a third party, which is independent of the process, providing transparency and traceability. Certification by this body means it is internationally recognised and can be carried out in any country in the world.

A tool at the disposal of European society

The BAIE certificate has been developed in the spirit of being a valid tool for all EU producers and contributes to the continuous improvement of the European production system.

For this reason, INTEROVIC, together with the Spanish Interprofesional Beef Industry Organization (PROVACUNO) and the Hungarian Sheep Producers Organization (JTT) have recently joined together in a European promotion plan, Animal Welfare Commitment, to promote the new certificates during the next three years in Spain and Hungary.

The Spanish Interovic Animal Welfare (BAIE) and Spanish Provacuno Animal Welfare (PAWS) certificates have been developed in the spirit of being a valid tool for all EU producers and in the spirit of contributing to the continuous improvement of the European production system. For this reason, INTEROVIC and PROVACUNO have made all their know-how and resources available to all EU producers who need them, with the aim of facilitating the creation of certification seals adapted to the production methods of each of the member countries. This undoubtedly gives these certifications a true European spirit of collaboration that is in line with the policies set out by the EU.

More information and/or interviews: Natalia Mosquera: natalia@interovic.es

Tel.: +34 678 473 826

[1]   OIE definition of animal welfare

According to OIE international standards, animal welfare means "the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies" (Terrestrial Code).

The OIE's guidelines for terrestrial animal welfare also include the "five freedoms," established in 1965 and universally recognised, to describe the rights that are humankind’s responsibility:

  • freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst;
  • freedom from fear and distress; 
  • freedom from heat stress or physical discomfort; 
  • freedom from pain, injury and disease; and
  • freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.

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