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10 farms certified by new ethical food label

Boschendal in the Western Cape is the international pilot project for A Greener World's new ethical food certification for regenerative farming

A Greener World's Animal Welfare Approved certification label is an indication to consumers that food meets international ethical food standards. Photo: Supplied

Ten farms have passed the strict certification process for A Greener World (AGW), a non-profit, international ethical food label for animal products that have been produced with a real commitment to animal welfare and sustainable livestock production. 

This label is now available in South Africa and Boschrivier Farm outside Plettenberg Bay and Boschendal in Franschhoek are the most recent additions. 

“As more and more consumers are becoming green-conscious, A Greener World offers a meaningful and reliable certification for meat, milk and eggs,” says Tozie Zokufa, AGW executive director.

“Any product with AGW certification is guaranteed to have been produced with real sustainability credentials and conscientiousness,” he says. “The AGW certification allows consumers to make ethical, healthier food choices and reward farmers who are adhering to responsible, sustainable farming practices.” 

He emphasises that AGW “is not green-washing”. To earn the Animal Welfare certification, farmers must adhere to strict animal welfare standards. Animals must be raised outdoors on pasture or range, without common industrial practices such as teeth-clipping, tail-docking, dehorning or beak-trimming. 

“Any AGW certification also guarantees that animals receive no added hormones or subtherapeutic antibiotics,” says Zokufa. 

Also read: Regenerative farming turns soils into sponges

10 local farms Animal Welfare AGW certified

With much success in Ireland, Europe, the United States, Canada and Central America, local farmers who wanted reliable, easy-to-understand ethical food labelling, invited AGW to launch in South Africa. Since then, ten farms have passed the stringent process to become AGW certified. 

The pigs and laying hens at Boschrivier Farm, in the Wittedrift valley outside Plettenberg Bay, are the most recent addition to the stable, having been certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW earlier this month. 

Hannes du Plessis of Boschrivier Farm says, “The welfare of our animals is our most important core policy. We believe that if animals have to be farmed, they deserve the best life possible until they are slaughtered.

“We share A Greener World’s values and believe that by joining associations like A Greener World, we can help educate people on ethical farming practices and make our customers aware of how important these values are to us.”

Boschrivier Farm near Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape received A Greener World Animal Welfare Certification. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Boschendal, near Franschhoek in the Western Cape winelands, has been selected as the international pilot farm in a new AGW regenerative ethical food certification.

Zokufa says, “AGW internationally is very excited about our newly launched AGW Certified Regenerative label. This will provide a whole-farm assurance of sustainability as it measures benefits to soil, water, air, biodiversity, infrastructure, animal welfare and social responsibility.”

To achieve this ethical food certification, farmers must demonstrate grass-fed, non-GMO, humane, just, water-friendly, environmentally sustainable practices, free of added hormones, routine antibiotics and toxic chemicals. 

Jason Carroll, Boschendal’s AGW-certified farmer and pilot participant in South Africa, says, “I applied to AGW because I believe that it has one of the best protocols available. With so many people putting labels on their products, I wanted to be sure that we used a label with integrity. I wanted my customers to know that we don’t just make claims without anyone making sure that we are actually selling what we are marketing.” 

Watch: Regenerative agriculture can help fight climate change

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