Certification and Animal Welfare

Interview: Charles Ross, Head of Sustainability

Certification: Our license to operate

“Certification is really what gives us our license to operate,” says Charles Ross, Saga Furs’ Head of Sustainability. “It’s an important part of our strategy and requires a huge upfront investment. Based in New York, Ross works a lot with the company’s big brand Fashion customers, who increasingly see Certification as their own license to operate. Repeatedly he has seen that the fashion industry is willing to pay a certain premium for certified fur lots.

Risk-free supply chain

One of the reasons Saga Furs has been investing so heavily in certification has been in response to ongoing discussions with the Fashion industry. “The big brands consider fur to be an important part of their collections but they want a transparent and risk-free supply chain.” Ross explains. Fur sourced from our certified farm suppliers is inspected by independent inspectors then audited by third-party auditing companies, making the whole process completely transparent.

The good of the industry

According to Charles Ross, Saga Furs doesn’t want to be alone in this. “We want the whole industry to come along with us, while at the same time keeping our competitive advantage.” Industry competitors are talking a lot about certification, but Ross insists that Saga Furs is still the only auction house with a real boots on the ground project. Having said that, this year the industry has jointly launched a new scientific animal assessment process called WelFur, with Saga Furs as one of the lead sponsors. “Saga Furs welcomes this industry level initiative, says Ross. “It’s not a substitute for our certification, but a strong scientific support to validate our overall farm management program.”