NSF International Certifies First US Farm for Down Traceability

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NSF International is certifying the first U.S. farm to its Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS).

On Tuesday, Culver Duck Farms, Inc., an Indiana-based White Pekin Duck producer, was awarded with NSF International’s Global TDS Standard for its commitment to ethical animal treatment and down sustainability.

“Achieving NSF International certification to the Global Traceable Down Standard was pivotal for Culver Duck as we continuously strive to improve the welfare of our animals,” said Sean Smith, director of compliance and project development at Culver Duck Farms, Inc. “We recognize our ethical obligations and moral responsibilities to the animals under our care and view NSF International’s Global TDS as a way to further demonstrate that commitment.”

The Global Traceable Down Standard (TDS) is an industry-wide standard for brands, farms and manufacturers that are committed to more sustainably-produced down. Spanning collector-based supply chains involved with family farms and industrialized supply chains in the food sector, the standard outlines animal welfare and traceability requirements from parent farm to processing factory.

Farms interested in achieving Global TDS certification must comply with strict certification requirements and participate in on-site audits of animal welfare practices that prohibit force feeding and live plucking, traceability management systems showing an unbroken chain of custody of the ethically-sourced down and education throughout each supply chain level. Once farms meet the Global TDS, they are required to adhere to NSF International guidelines and respond quickly to corrective actions.

[Read more on down compliance developments: Textile Exchange and NSF International to Form Global Down Standard]

In March, NSF International and Textile Exchange merged the Responsible Down Standard and the Global Traceable Down Standard into the Global TDS. Both organizations formed the Global TDS to further the responsible treatment of birds in down supply chains. To date, more than 80 brands have certified their down supply chains, supporting the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s Five Freedoms of birds—the freedom from discomfort, pain, injury or disease, hunger and thirst and distress, as well as freedom to express normal behavior. With the Global TDS certification, Culver Duck Farms, Inc. can join other notable industry brands in protecting birds and encouraging the responsible down sourcing.

“Culver Duck came to us with a sincere desire to improve conditions for its animals and make changes using the Global TDS requirements as a roadmap,” said Joshua Brugeman, business unit manager for responsible sourcing at NSF International. “We applaud Culver Duck for achieving this certification and we hope others in the industry will learn from its journey.”

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