What is it?
The Welfair™ seal, whose name is a combination of the words “well” and “fair“, identifies that the food animal product on which it is present has been monitored for animal welfare both on the farm or production area and at the place of slaughter, obtaining at least the minimum score required in all the indicators analysed and strictly complying with animal welfare directives established by the European Community.
Products bearing the Welfair™ seal can be found in establishments where food is sold, both in specialized stores and markets and in distribution chains. The seal only certifies the product on which it is present, not the establishment, brand or product category
What does the seal mean?
The Welfair™ seal means that IRTA and NEIKER, as research centres and members of the Welfare Quality® and AWIN networks, guarantee that the product in question comes from animals raised on farms and slaughtered in slaughterhouses that have been subjected to animal welfare monitoring based on the Welfare Quality® and AWIN protocols. Moreover, in all cases the minimum required score for certification was obtained.
2004 – 2009
The Welfare Quality® European research project is carried out focusing on the integration of farm animal welfare into the agri-food chain. Four principles and 12 evaluation criteria are established for the following species: cattle, pigs, laying hens and chickens. The Welfare Quality® Network, of which IRTA is a member, is established when the project terminated.
IRTA and the Meat and Meat Industry Business Federation (Federación Empresarial de Carnes e Industrias Cárnicas, FECIC) initiate the first pilot project to implement the Welfare Quality® animal welfare assessment protocols in pig and cattle slaughterhouses in Spain.
Motivated by the requests of some of their clients, various certification bodies in Spain request IRTA to apply the Welfare Quality® protocols to certify animal welfare in food production. IRTA proposes to use the Welfare Quality® protocols under the European project concept “from farm to table”.
IRTA’s animal welfare program researchers start a pilot project together with the Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification (AENOR) for application in dairy cattle. ATO milk obtains the AENOR Conform seal for the first time, which certifies its farms’ animal welfare based on IRTA’s evaluation applying the Welfare Quality® protocols.
2011 – 2015
The European Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) project succeeds Welfare Quality® to complete its mission by applying the same methodology to sheep, goats, horses, donkeys and turkeys. When the AWIN project ends, the AWIN Network is established, of which NEIKER is a member.
2015 – 2018
The IRTA-AENOR collaboration broadens to include beef cattle, pigs, laying hens and chickens, with more than 50 companies certified.
IRTA and NEIKER begin their collaboration to develop a joint animal welfare certification based on Welfare Quality® and AWIN
March: the pilot project developed between IRTA and AENOR culminates in a General Regulation that permits access to an independent certification managed by IRTA.
October: IRTA and NEIKER present the Welfair™ animal welfare certification, the only independent certificate based on the European Welfare Quality® and AWIN standards, which comprehensively evaluates and monitors the degree of animal welfare on farms and slaughterhouses based on the direct animal observation for cattle, pigs, sheep, laying hens, chickens, rabbits and turkeys