Sir: Having recently attended Freedom Food’s 20th anniversary celebration, it was reassuring to learn, after the detailed review and consultation about its future, that the decision on the way forward is a very positive one (‘Freedom Food scheme rebranded as RSPCA Assured,’ thegrocer.co.uk, 11 September,). During the review, there was a feeling among some in the farming community that this could lead to the scheme’s demise. My own farm and the associated group of free-range egg farmers in East Anglia were among the first to join the scheme when it was launched in 1994. The rebranding of the logo under the RSPCA identity will no doubt have a positive effect on consumers who will have a better understanding of the animal welfare message linked to the new logo. It was also pleasing to hear that the process of strengthening relationships with the livestock farming community is an integral part of this relaunch, as the road had become a little rocky over recent years.
As well as informing consumers about the opportunity to purchase high welfare food, it is also important that the scheme develops on farm in a reasonably understandable and achievable manner so as to meet the aspirations of all involved.
Jeff Vergerson, free-range egg farmer and consultant, Norfolk