There are five basic steps a family farmer must be able to successfully complete in order to join the Animal Welfare Approved Program and be able to use the Animal Welfare Approved seal on your products.
- Carefully review the husbandry standards for the species in question to make sure you feel that they are consistent with your own farming methods and values. It is important to us that our farmers share our philosophy about raising animals according to the highest welfare standards, with both compassion and respect.
- Once you have reviewed the standards, begin the approval process by filling out an Animal Welfare Approved Program application (available as an online form ).
- After we receive your application, we will contact you to discuss any questions you may have about the program or approval process and to schedule a farm visit.
- A qualified Animal Welfare Approved program auditor will then pay a visit to your farm to complete a confidential audit.
- A review of the slaughter facilities, either on the farm or at the premises you utilize, will take place to ensure compliance with Animal Welfare Approved program requirements.
- Farms who wish to also apply for American Grassfed Association certification need to complete a few additional questions on the application form. Both audits will be completed during the same time frame. See American Grassfed Standards on the AGA website as well as specific information about licensing and use of label.
Once satisfactory reviews of the farm and slaughter facility are completed, you will enter into an agreement with the Animal Welfare Approved program by signing an affidavit pledging to abide by the Animal Welfare Approved standards and to allow one yearly inspection, or more often if animal husbandry issues arise that require more frequent follow-up.
Once officially approved, we will provide you with labels and marketing materials to help you promote your involvement with the program, and we will do our part to inform consumers about your products as well. We are committed to making this a smooth and pleasant experience for those who wish to participate in our program, and we are eager to provide ongoing support and guidance.