20 December 2019 The Burgos farming and poultry production cooperative Cooperativa Avícola y Ganadera de Burgos (COBUR) has received the certification of Animal Welfare and Antibiotic Free Production from AENOR, a result that responds to the objectives of the cooperative's 2019 strategic plan, linked to the implementation and subsequent certification of quality systems that will cover emerging aspects in the market, such as export, food safety (certified under the BRC and IFS standards), animal welfare and the production of feed and animal breeding free of antibiotics.
In order to grant the certification, AENOR's expert animal welfare auditors must perform an exhaustive audit, through the assessment of four key areas: shelter, diet, health and the natural behaviour of the animals.
Thanks to this effort, all the farmers in the cooperative's pig farming area have implemented the system and have been certified with AENOR. Work is starting in the chicken area, with a farm and the poultry slaughterhouse itself already certified.
Animal welfare certification is based on European Welfare Quality and AWIN® benchmarks, which audit the systems for assessing and controlling animal welfare in farms and slaughterhouses, as well as self-monitoring and traceability up until dispatch.
Among other benefits, this certificate demonstrates that a company is concerned about the welfare of its animals and has made a long-term commitment to good livestock practices, in-line with the company's current values and consumer preferences.
The certificate also proves that the company has complied with all the requirements to ensure that animals are protected when they are slaughtered, so as to reduce their suffering as much as possible.
This certificate also helps to guarantee the sector's product quality and sustainability, as it has been proven that products made from animals with better welfare provide a better quality and yield, which contributes to a more sustainable use and consumption of natural resources.
This standard is primarily based on observing the animals and has been developed to a high scientific standard as it was devised by scientists from technological centres in different countries who are experts on animal welfare.
Another important pillar is the production free of antibiotics, which is increasingly necessary and demanded by the consumer. In this regard, work has been carried out in three areas: The first, related to antibiotic-free production on chicken farms from birth, for which one farm has been certified. The second, the chicken slaughterhouse, which ensures the traceability of products produced on farms certified for antibiotic-free production, a process that is brought to the attention of consumers through a seal on their products. And thirdly, the production line in the factory of antibiotic-free feed.
This is an aspect in which COBUR has fulfilled a series of conditions that ensure that the feed factory line is free of antibiotics, being the first company in Spain to obtain this AENOR certification.
After the great effort made this year, COBUR products ensure quality in all aspects: Food safety, animal welfare and antibiotic-free production in the products offered by its farmers.
Receiving certification for animal welfare and antibiotic-free production is a recognition that the cooperative transfers to all farmers and COBUR staff, who, together with the cooperative itself, comply transparently with their commitments to their consumers and society.