THE BRITISH COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

The SPCA Certified program welcomes all farms – large and small – interested in third-party farm animal welfare certification. Participation is voluntary. Current farm animal certifications include: beef cattle (includes veal production), dairy cattle, sheep, pigs, turkeys, broiler (meat) chickens and egg-laying chickens.

Read on to learn more about the program, including:

We can be reached by email, phone, fax, or mail.

"Consumers are looking for product that is raised ethically, humanely and also locally."
Tim Rempel, Co-owner Rockweld Farm

Having trouble viewing this video? Watch SPCA Certified makes sense on YouTube.

   

Reasons for certification

Today’s food shoppers care about animal welfare

More than 70% of Canadians are willing to pay more for farm animal products that were certified to humane standards of care by a third-party organization.
~ 2009 Harris/Decima

Canadians will purchase ethically certified and Canadian food products at a premium.
~ Alberta Meat and Livestock Agency, Dec. 2010

 

1. The SPCA Brand

  • High brand trust with the Canadian public
  • National brand name recognition
  • More than 1 million supporters across Canada
  • SPCA Certified brand accepted by major, independent and local retailers across Canada
  • The SPCA Certified red barn logo is CFIA reviewed and is the only Canadian animal welfare certification logo approved for use on food products and marketing materials in Canada

 

2. Build new market share

  • SPCA Certified meets growing consumer demand for animal welfare certified products

  • Clear, credible point of product differentiation

  • Current member farms attest that the value SPCA certification adds to their brand outweighs the cost of certification

  • Complements and adds additional value to existing marketing programs


"As a result of this certification, and the generous press surrounding it, we'll likely sell everything we will produce for the next 12 months in the next few weeks!"
Jim Ross, co-owner, Havesome Hogs.

 

3. Be ahead of the game

  • Participate in an animal care and welfare program before it becomes a mandatory requirement of industry groups, processors or retailers

  • Canadian producers receive premiums for their SPCA Certified products

 

4. Standards

 

5. Staff assistance

  • Support for farmers throughout the certification process

  • Assist farms building new barns to SPCA Certified standards

  • Connect farmers to retailers and restaurants and BC SPCA supporters looking to buy SPCA Certified products

  • Promote SPCA Certified farms and products with both the SPCA community and the public

 

Certification process

Interested farms can now sign up online!

Once registration is complete, a third-party, contracted, independent SPCA Certified program Validator will visit the farm and assess compliance to SPCA Certified standards and operation policies.

During the farm visit, the Validator fills out a checklist and sends in the completed checklist and a report to the SPCA Certified Administrator.  

The file is forwarded to an independent, third-party, expert Review Panel. It is the Review Panel that determines farm certification in the program.

The SPCA Certified Administrator sends a letter to the farm letting them know of the Assessment outcome.

"I will submit my report to the SPCA committee who will then review and assign certification or recommendations."
Cheryl Laxton, third-party validator

Having trouble viewing this video? Watch SPCA Certified: How it works on YouTube.

   

Fees

Member farms pay an annual certification fee. Certification fees partially cover administration time, on-farm assessment and subsequent report, and the honorarium paid to the Review Panel. The annual fee includes the cost of random audits conducted on 10% of SPCA Certified member farms each year.

Farms that are unconditionally certified two years in a row (review our Operations Manual for more details) are eligible to have their annual fee waived. 


Group certification

Groups interested in certification, but wishing to maintain current certification system or group economics, can apply to the SPCA Certified program as an internal control group and carry out annual certification under the group certification process. Interested? Contact the SPCA Certified program for further details.

 

Marketing

Marketing and promotions highlight participating farms and the SPCA Certified program.

Activities include tradeshows, local events, program support materials (e.g. rack cards, retail shelf talkers), social media, and media coverage and publications.

The SPCA Certified program and its member farms are featured regularly in BC SPCA publications:

  • AnimalSense magazine, delivered to 60,000 donors and supporters twice a year;

  • Anim@ls, our monthly e-newsletter that reaches more than 84,000 supporters; and

  • FarmSense, our quarterly e-newsletter sent to over 4,000 special interest readers.

  • BC SPCA Twitter feed

  • BC SPCA Facebook pages

Extensive information about our SPCA Certified program is available on our website, which attracts more than two million unique visits a year.

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