We were the first in Victoria, and the second nationally, to become accredited for RSPCA Approved poultry and in the beginning were the only supplier of RSPCA products to Coles. We are exceptionally proud that we lead the market in this regard, and many other suppliers are only now catching up.
Pioneering RSPCA Approved Poultry Farming
RSPCA requirements include specific perching, lighting, feed, shed densities and record keeping. Chicken in RSPCA approved barns can perch, dust bathe, scratch and play with toys.
The RSPCA auditing system continues beyond farming into production to ensure high animal welfare is maintained and traceability has integrity for consumer confidence.
Initially the RSPCA audited every barn at three-month intervals before providing recertification. Audits eventually moved to an annual basis. Hazeldene’s is now accredited directly with the RSPCA – an avenue we pursued as we believe the RSPCA quality system has made our business better.
Free Range Chicken
We have been farming free range chicken for more than two decades under the FREPA accreditation, but free range goes deeper into our history than that. When we commenced farming operations at Lockwood back in the 1960s, we farmed all of our chicken in free-range coops that were moved around open paddocks.
Today free-range birds have the ability to forage naturally and instinctively amongst grasses, weeds, bushes and trees in a secure environment. Their diet is supported with locally-supplied multi-grains, blended with spice extracts and essential oils, creating happy, healthy and tasty chicken.
Free range is a crucial part of our business and you will find our free-range chicken products at specialty butcher and chicken shops and at ALDI under the Willowton brand.
The Free Range Egg and Poultry Association (FREPA) mandates standards for free-range poultry farming. We were among the first meat poultry producers to receive free-range accreditation in Victoria. FREPA conducts an annual audit on our farms to the FREPA standard and we are recertified every 12 months.
Antibiotic Growth Promotant (AGP) – Free
Since 2012 Hazeldene’s has been completely AGP free across our whole operations. We are very proud of this fact.