The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals is the owner (scheme holder) of the Better Life label. In this capacity it establishes the criteria relating to animal welfare which must be complied with by the participating companies.
The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals establishes the criteria relating to animal welfare and drafts concept criteria which they submit to the participants for consultation for a period of six weeks. A final version is subsequently drawn up by the Board of Experts, which is adopted conclusively, with or without the application of a transitional period. The director of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals ultimately adopts the final version. The new criteria will then be published on the website of the Better Life label. The new criteria become effective three months after publication.
College of Experts Better Life label (CoE)
The College of Experts Better Life label (CoE) is responsible for drawing up the regulations (criteria) and their interpretation. The CoE:
prepares proposals for amendments to the Regulations and submits them to the scheme holder for approval.
explains the practical implications of the criteria (interpretation).
The Communication Department of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals is responsible for the policy on communication in relation to the Better Life label and for contact with the media and consumers.
The Better Life label Foundation (BLLF)
The Better Life label Foundation (BLLF) is the private certification organisation responsible for correctly assuring the Better Life label (BLL) and for communication with the business sector.
The BLLF processes and assesses the applications submitted by companies and grants approval.
processes and assesses applications
assesses product specifications and communication expressions3.
refers participants to CBs for inspections and audits.
The BLLF monitors the external Certification Bodies (CBs) that conduct the physical inspections and enforcement activities at the participating companies.
The BLLF consults and agrees with the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, which focuses on policy-related issues (criteria) and communicates with the consumer. In addition, BLLF supports the members of the CoE in the process of amending and interpreting the criteria. The BLLF prepares proposals for criteria, particularly in relation to assurance, accountability and audits and inspections. The BLLF is currently reviewing the criteria so that the CBs can implement these criteria in their systems and be awarded accreditation for the Better Life label by the Dutch Accreditation Council.
The BLLF is a compact, non-profit organisation that passes on its costs in the form of a participation fee to the participating companies.
Certification Bodies (CBs)
The certification process for the Better Life label is conducted by Certification Bodies (CBs) accredited according to ISO 17065 standards and approved and authorised for this purpose by the Better Life label Foundation.
The Certification Bodies base their decision to award BLL certification on the certification regulations and criteria and a physical inspection. A Certification Body regularly inspects (in accordance with the inspection frequency as established in the certification regulations) the continued compliance of a participant with the corresponding Better Life criteria. An on-site audit is conducted at the participating companies. This is used as the basis to assess whether the company satisfies the requirements and whether the certificate can be awarded/issued for another year as proof of compliance. Certification Bodies wishing to be accredited must comply with the Acceptance Conditions for Certification Bodies.
The Supervisory Board is tasked with the integral monitoring of the various components of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals and the affiliated foundations. Progress is monitored in the form of quarterly reports.
Board of the Foundation
The Board of the Foundation is tasked with the integral monitoring of the Better Life label foundation. Progress is monitored in the form of quarterly reports/meetings.
The Board of the Better Life label Foundation consists of the following five board members.
A company that wishes to participate in the Better Life label scheme applies to the Better Life label Foundation (BLLF). Livestock farms apply via the chain manager.
After approval, the BLLF refers the company to the relevant Certification Body (CB). The participant concludes an agreement with the BLLF after which an accreditation inspection is performed (primary participants conclude an agreement with the CB). The participants will be informed of possible amendments through consultations and are given the opportunity to participate.
The Advisory Board is an advisory committee consisting of board members from a number or participating companies who are involved in considering and advising on the strategy to be followed by the Better Life label.
The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals and the Better Life label Foundation discuss and consult with the Advisory Board on the strategic policy guidelines regarding the Better Life label. This covers subjects such as the assurance policy, assessment, evaluation and growth strategy.
This Board convenes at least once a year.
The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals and the Better Life label Foundation based their advice on, among others, the following when establishing and implementing the criteria:
the available scientific/international insights/knowledge
research conducted by/ advice from external consultants
social beliefs and morals
developments in regulations, legislation and politics
developments in the different sectors and/or
consultation with other NPOs
consultation with stakeholders/participants, including contributions from participants during consultations