Fur Sorting & Grading Course – WELFUR

Grading

The morning session was on the grading floor with over 30 test bundles of mink to grade on ‘Surface’ and ‘Coverability’ where we were looking for the best silkiness and even coverage of top hair. I found I was consistently getting about 50% right and the black and mahogany types I found hardest at this point… much work to do to improve!

Welfur logo

WELFUR®

During the afternoon Jens Groot from Kopenhagen Fur’s Business Development Department gave us a presentation and Q&A session on WELFUR. WELFUR is the world’s most advanced science-based animal welfare program. If the welfare of the farmed fur bearing animal is certified by independent scientists then choosing to wear fur or not is simply down to personal choice.

WELFUR protocols follow the same standards and principles as the ‘EU Welfare Quality Protocols’® for cattle, pigs and poultry and from 2004-2009 they were evolved to cover mink and fox.

Why do we need WELFUR:

  • The fashion industry wants transparency and documentation;
  • The end consumer wants to know the facts behind the product;
  • Improve farm management and attain better results; and
  • Industry standardisation of equipment.

What’s in it for the farmer:

  • A tool to improve farm management and animal welfare, which consequently achieves a better skin quality and price;
  • Premium price for a certified product;
  • WELFUR will replace ‘perceptions’ with ‘facts’;
  • Certification will help politicians to defend fur farming.

Day 5 key perceptions on WELFUR:

  • Animal welfare assessed by independent science;
  • Replaces perceptions with facts;
  • Provides consumers with transparency about the production of fur;
  • Europe is leading the way. The US and Canada are starting to apply the same principles. Asia not know to be starting this yet;
  • From 2020 every auction house in EU, US and Canada will only sell welfare assured skins;
  • First welfare certified skins will be on sale in 2018;
  • All 4000 EU farms will be assessed by 2020;
  • Any farm across the globe can send their skins to auction if they meet the WELFUR criteria and have passed the rigorous assessment before the auction.

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