In its commitment to achieve even more ambitious and harmonized animal welfare friendly practices, the Board meeting of Euro Foie Gras decided to work towards a common approach to the certification of the good breeding practices defined in the European Charter on Breeding of Waterfowl for Foie Gras, whilest taking into account the existing initiatives in other countries. The adoption of the Charter, which was the first major achievement of the Federation in 2009, was developed in the spirit of the "Welfare Quality Project" of the European Commission. It sets the commitments of the sector to govern the breeding of ducks and geese for foie gras production (feeding, watering, housing, slaughtering etc.).
Good farming practices certified by public controls
Foie gras production in Belgium is strictly regulated and is controlled by the public authorities. The Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) certifies the optimal conditions of well-being in all production sites and at every stage of breeding according to a detailed evaluation grid and on the basis of the Royal Decree of 25 April 1994, as amended by the Royal Decree of 8 December 2011.
The Palm I Trust initiative: farmers' best practices certified
French Foie Gras professionals have launched an initiative to ensure that farmers follow best practices for animal welfare. The initiative, called "Palm I Trust", is voluntary and a logical continuation of professional ethics through which farmers affirm their commitment to transparency and ongoing improvement. Farmers agree to let an independent organisation carry out inspections to ensure that they are properly implementing the European Charter on Breeding of Waterfowl for Foie Gras.
The initiative is based on precise and detailed specifications that define the actions to be taken in order to comply with the commitments and to ensure progress.
The "Palm I Trust" initiative was made official at the CIFOG general meeting – Interbranch Committee for Foie Gras - of June 27. It brought together 15 organisations representing over 90% of the specialised production channel. Members committed to implementing the initiative and encouraging their producers to follow it.
Seven commitments will be closely monitored by an independent organisation :
To comply with the initiative, farmers will be assisted by specially trained technicians. During their first visit, the approved technicians will assess the farm based on the initiative’s seven key criteria, set out ways for improvement and provide a time-frame over which "Palmi G confiance" should be effective. The signature of an agreement will validate the membership.
The seven commitments: