The Pasture for Life Standards

Pasture-Fed Standards

The Pasture for Life certification mark guarantees 100% pasture fed meat, fibre and dairy, from animals raised only on pasture. All certified farms are visited by an independent certification body to make sure farmers are following a set of agreed production standards. This was the main reason a small group of farmers came together in the beginning, and set up the Pasture for Life certification mark to make produce from 100% pasture fed animals easily recognised.

High Animal Welfare

All certified farms meet the requirements of Farm Assurance Standards, as a minimum.

However, most of our producers choose to operate at a much higher standard of animal welfare, and may be recognised as such through the RSPCA Assured Scheme or Animal Welfare Approved or Organic Certification. The Pasture for Life standards reflect Organic welfare requirements.

A Natural Diet

Animals kept according to Pasture for Life standards are not fed any form of grain or manufactured feeds.

These typically include high-energy and high-protein components such as soya, maize, wheat, barley or pulses such as peas and beans. Intensive livestock production relies upon these to accelerate animal growth and production. However, this kind of high-performance diet can put pressure on an animal’s body.

The production of crops such as soya can often have a severe environmental impact, particularly in South America, where rainforest continues to be cleared to produce animal feed. The production of maize in the UK is also being increasingly linked to soil degradation and water pollution.

Published research shows that many of the human health benefits found in food from animals fed on pasture for life, are quickly lost when their grazing is supplemented with other feeds. The Certification Standards ensure that animals must be able to graze pastures when the grass is growing in the fields. In the winter months they can be given conserved pasture in the form of hay or silage or other agreed forms of forage.

Wildlife-friendly Fields

The Pasture For Life Standards also encourage farmers to make the most of the wildlife benefits that grazing offers.

Guidance and recommendations is given on the management of natural and semi-natural grasslands and traditional hay meadows, as well as important advice on aspects such as the timing of farming operations to ensure minimal disturbance to nesting birds.

Becoming a Certified Producer, Butcher or Supplier

To become a Certified Producer, beef, sheep and dairy producers apply via a self-assessment form, and Pasture For Life then arranges for independent, third-party auditing and a farm inspection. Once approved, farmers can market their meat and dairy produce under the Pasture for Life mark and use this logo on their food products as a sign that it is 100% pasture fed.