The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association has published its latest set of certification standards, listing what cattle and sheep producers must do to apply the ‘Pasture for Life’ marketing symbol on their produce.
The Pasture for Life rosette guarantees the animals were 100% pasture-fed and managed in a way that positively affects soil and wildlife, while producing meat and dairy of the highest nutritional quality.
“The Pasture for Life standards define a distinct method of animal farming – it is a sustainable way of producing meat and milk with a low carbon footprint,” explains Anna Heaton, who heads the PFLA Certification Committee.
“The standards are reviewed every two years and this fourth version has some significant changes.
These have been made in response to discussions with the growing PFLA membership and the other like-minded organisations that we work closely with.”
The standards have been expanded to include all ruminants, including goats, bison, water buffalo and farmed deer, not just cattle and sheep. The list of products that can be certified now also include leather and fibres, such as wool and mohair.
Any harvested root crops such as sugar beet and fodder beet, which have a high sugar content, are now prohibited.
But root crops and brassicas that are grazed are allowed, but must be planted in a mixture that includes at least one other species.
Arable silage or wholecrop must be grazed or harvested before the cereal crop reaches ear emergence and must also be grown with at least one other non-cereal species.
“The PFLA is keen to encourage diversity in pastures, particularly the incorporation of legumes and herbs, and a move away from monocultures,” adds Mrs Heaton. “The greater variety of plants lead to better soil and animal health.”
While the latest version of the PFLA Certification Standards has now been published on the Pasture for Life website www.pastureforlife.org, the organisation will not be auditing its certified members to these standards until the end of September, 2020.