A Farmer’s Tool for Understanding Welfare Certification Programs

farm certification guideThe lack of welfare standards or transparency in industrial animal agriculture is not just endangering farm animals and misleading consumers, it also puts higher-welfare farmers at a disadvantage. Fortunately, certain independent welfare certifications require more humane practices and on-farm audits, offering the accountability that animals deserve—and that consumers are demanding.

To assist farms and companies that are interested in pursuing a meaningful welfare certification, the ASPCA, in partnership with Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, has created the Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide. This tool will help farmers understand the value of certification programs and determine which certification might be right for their farm.

The Guide covers three meaningful certification programs that represent a spectrum of higher-welfare ways to raise farm animals: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane® and Global Animal Partnership. These are the three programs that the ASPCA recommends to welfare-conscious consumers and businesses through our Shop With Your Heart campaign.

The Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide contains:

  • Evidence that the market for welfare-certified products is growing.
  • A comparison of key differences between the three programs.
  • Step-by-step breakdowns of each certification process.
  • In-depth case studies from each certification program.
  • An explanation of funding options available to farmers interested in certification.

To download a PDF of the full guide, including case studies, click here.

Click the image below for an overview about welfare certification programs and identify the key differences between Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane® and Global Animal Partnership:

farm certification guide teaser

Want to dive right into a particular certification program? Read in-depth information about each certification by clicking its logo:

AWACHGAP

To request a hard copy of the guide, or if you have further questions about certification, how to become certified or how to get your supply chain certified, please contact us at farmanimalwelfare@aspca.org.

Case Studies

Each farm is different, and every certified farmer has a unique journey to certification. To highlight this diversity, six farmers (two from each certification program) have shared their stories about why they chose to become welfare-certified.

Animal Welfare Approved

Stark Hallow Farm
Stark Hollow Farm
Danville, Vermont
Sheep, dairy cows, pigs

Kinderhook
Kinderhook Farm
Ghent, New York
Beef cattle, sheep, laying hens

Certified Humane®

Pete and Gerry's Eggs
Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
Monroe, New Hampshire
Laying hens

Echo Farm
Echo Farm Puddings
Hinsdale, New Hampshire
Dairy cows

Global Animal Partnership

Mary's Chickens
Mary’s Free Range Chicken
Sanger, California
Chickens

Cold Springs Ranch
Cold Spring Ranch
North New Portland, Maine
Beef cattle