Certification ensures ethical fur for the fashion industry
Saga Furs is the only fur seller in the industry with a supplier certification and auditing programme on the environment and animal health and welfare. We are the industry leader in certification, and the Saga Certification has been used since 2005.
Saga Certification by Finnish Standards is a unique farm management system producing the highest level of animal welfare. Responding to demand from global brands and the next generation of consumers on sustainability and animal welfare, Saga Furs has continually developed its certification programme to ensure it meets the high standards that go well beyond what the law requires. For these reasons, Saga Furs is the trusted partner of the fashion industry in providing them with sustainable and ethical furs.
The Saga Certification system has been in place since 2005 and during this time, the scheme has been developed in cooperation with the industry, Finnish authorities, the EU, and also veterinarians specialised in fur farming. Because of this elaborate work, there are strict animal welfare standards for fur farming, much more than the meat industry.
Of the fox and Finnraccoon pelts Saga Furs’ auctions, 100% is certified – ensured by third-party audits. Saga pelts come mainly from European fur farms that are inspected and in compliance with the Council of Europe’s Recommendation on Fur Farming. In addition, for example in Finland, the main source of the skins we auction, the law sets requirements on fur farming. These requirements in the law are further complemented by certification.
Saga Furs is also in the process of increasing the share of certified mink pelts to be sold under our trademark. The first 100% certified mink lot was sold in our auction in March 2017, and also the following auctions have included certified mink lots.
Per our data from November 2015, 884 of the 965 farms, or 92%, in Finland were certified. More specifically, 99% of all fox production and approximately 90% of all mink production is certified. Saga Furs has continued to expand the certification process in countries across Europe, as well as begun auditing new potential farm suppliers in the US. Saga Furs has a cooperation agreement with DNV GL on verification of Saga Certification process in other countries. This includes Norway, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
The main criteria of the Saga Certification by Finnish Standards
- Animal well-being and health (read more)
Animal health and welfare are an absolute prerequisite for high-quality animal breeding. On certified fur farms, animal welfare is promoted with immediate and preventive measures.
- Conditions for rearing animals
Safe and stimulating housing, adjusted to the various cycles in the animal’s life, is the fur animal’s most important immediate environment.
- Farm hygiene
A neat and tidy farm environment promotes welfare and comfort for both the animals and the farmer. Proactive measures prevent many ensuing problems.
Healthy and trusting animals form the basis for high-quality breeding. Certified farms do not sell or deliver fur animals to countries which do not meet the requirements set in the Finnish Animal Welfare Act.
- Environmental management
A certified fur farm minimises its impact on the surrounding nature. Detailed provisions for environmental protection are specified in each farm’s environmental permit. In addition, special attention is paid to the correct handling of manure, waste management and the watering system.
- Feed management
The animals are given regularly analysed feed that fulfils their nutritional needs in each production phase. Domestic raw materials are favoured in the feed production, and the entire feed chain is documented.
- Training and preparing for exceptional situations
Fur farming is a profession which requires solid hands-on competence as well as ongoing professional development on an annual basis. A certified farm is well equipped to act also in exceptional situations deviating from day-to-day routines.
Saga Certification by Finnish Standards in short
- The Saga Certification System was developed by Finnish Fur Breeders Association
- Criteria include advanced animal health and welfare, breeding conditions, food maintenance, farm hygiene, record keeping and environmental management. The certification has over 60 criteria, and WelFur one protocol in the criteria
- Saga Certified farms are monitored and inspected by the Finnish government and both EU and local authorities as well as outside 3rd party auditor
- The Saga Certification is valid for three years at a time and is then re-audited
- ProFur is responsible for the certification of Finnish fur farms. DNV GL is the independent auditor that reviews and critically evaluates whether ProFur’s quality system and all sub-processes meet the farm certification criteria.
- The Finnish certification criteria are set by ProFur’s Board of Directors. Saga Furs has a system in place for monitoring of which farms are certified and which ones are not.