Audits are carried out by our auditors at least every 3 years. Audits are currently carried out ‘announced’ but we are committed to carrying out ‘un-announced’ visits where it is deemed appropriate and necessary.

Every wholesaler, every processor, every slaughterhouse and farms which are representative of a particular supply chain are visited, including ‘Parent Farms’ and ‘Mother Goose Farms’. Representative sampling is only used in larger supply chains where it is unfeasible to visit every farm in a supply chain due to the logistical difficulty, cost, and time involved.

We therefore rely on our auditors to visit a requisite number of farms in a defined geographic area, sufficient to draw conclusions which represent the whole supply chain. Supply-chains are mapped and verified through a process of checking and cross-examining paper-work, carrying out face-to-face interviews and documenting conditions and practices with photographic records.

Any of the DOWN CODEX®'s principle rules are considered zero tolerance factors. Any evidence of Live Plucking, Live Harvesting, Force-Feeding, or of In-humane Slaughter or welfare will result in the supplier being removed from our supply chain.

Where an audit identifies standards which could be improved, but which fall underneath the threshold of being zero tolerance rules, corrective action plans will be issued and we will discuss these with the supply chain. While we strive for the very best animal welfare we realise that we cannot always make root and branch changes to a supply chain, and sometimes it is easier for us to move supply chain in future than to change deep-routed thinking.

The executive results of each successful audit are made available online, along with the corresponding quality control report relating to an individual batch of that down. Using a unique 12-digit code found in every one of our down products, the customer can then trace the down found in that particular product.

Pre 2011

Prior to 2011, audits were carried out to document working practices within our supply chain against a list of assumptions. Supply-chains were mapped through paper-trail and document checks and standards verified through face-to-face interviews and photographic records.

2012 - 2014

From 2012, all supply chains were audited against a pre-determined IDFL score-sheet. Supply chain partners are given a score against a range of measures, resulting in an overall score from A-D. In addition to this each overall supply chain is awarded a weighted score for overall risk.

2014 Onwards

All supply chains are audited against a pre-determined IDFL score-sheet and DOWN CODEX® welfare standards scheme. In addition to our principle DOWN CODEX® rules, all suppliers are scored against a wider range of welfare measures. Specific targets are introduced for welfare improvements and corrective action plans issued as a matter of course where necessary.

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