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The Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS) is a voluntary certification aimed at ensuring ethical practices in the alpaca fiber industry. It covers all stages, from alpaca farms to the final business-to-business transaction. The certification mandates that farmers and ranchers adhere to specific animal welfare, land management, and social requirements. The standard also ensures that the identity of RAS-certified alpaca fiber is maintained throughout the supply chain.
Adherence to the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, based on global standards and best practices.
Final products containing non-certified virgin alpaca fiber are not permitted to be labeled with the RAS name or logo.
Farms may not carry both certified and non-certified alpaca.
Organizations seeking RAS certification undergo an annual audit by a professional, third-party certification body at each stage of the supply chain. This ensures a transparent and robust certification process.
The certification is valid for three years. To renew, organizations must undergo another audit to ensure continued compliance with the standard's requirements.
For businesses, RAS certification can serve as a mark of ethical and sustainable practices, providing a competitive advantage. For consumers, it offers a way to make responsible choices. However, it's worth noting that the standard provides optional guidelines that are not mandatory for maintaining certification, which might be a limitation for those seeking comprehensive accountability.