NSF International, a global public health organisation, has certified United States-based Imperial Stock Ranch as the first US-based farm to get Textile Exchange’s Responsible Wool Standard (RWS).
This voluntary global standard demonstrates that a ranch or farm practices the highest levels of animal welfare and land management, and that the wool is fully traceable throughout its supply chain. RWS requires all sites that handle wool, from farms to the final manufacturer, to be certified. Only products containing 100% certified wool can be labelled with the RWS logo.
Certification to RWS ensures the sheep are responsibly treated following the Five Freedoms, according to the Farm Animal Welfare Council. These include freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress.
Certification to RWS also confirms that a farm or ranch follows enhanced land management methods that protect soil health, biodiversity and native species. Certification includes on-site audits for all entities throughout the supply chain, from the farm or ranch to the manufacturing facility. Continued certification requires annual surveillance audits.
“NSF International is pleased to announce the certification of Imperial Stock Ranch to the Responsible Wool Standard. The certification of Imperial Stock Ranch to the Responsible Wool Standard by NSF International confirms its commitment to animal welfare, land management and traceability of the wool it produces, providing consumers with the most responsibly sourced wool products on the market,” NSF International’s General Manager for Sustainability Jenny Oorbeck.
NSF International was part of the pilot process for the development of RWS, conducting audits at two separate ranches, including Imperial Stock Ranch, during critical times of the sheep life cycle. After completion of the pilot process, Imperial Stock Ranch began the certification process.
“Imperial Stock Ranch is very pleased to be certified by NSF International to the rigorous Responsible Wool Standard. Imperial Stock Ranch understands our role as responsible producers of wool from the health of the sheep to the hand-picked shearers who have worked at our ranch for decades. Certification to the Responsible Wool Standard demonstrates our commitment to animal welfare and land management practices,” Jeanne Carver of Imperial Stock Ranch said.