(703)435-3883 info@certifiedhumane.org PO Box 82 Middleburg, VA 20118

Certification Process

We will help you determine which applications are needed for your business.

Your application will consist of one or more completed forms, depending on what kind of operation you have and the supply chain of your products to be certified. The application forms provide a framework to create a comprehensive system plan for your operation’s certification that is specific to your business type, location and activities. In general:

  • Farms will complete applications for each species of animal to be certified, and an application for any further processing they do on-site or for their slaughter facility (if applicable).
  • Handling operations, such as food manufacturers, co-packers, and brand owners, will complete an application to address further processing, packing/labeling, sales, and traceability of Certified Humane® products.
  • Very large marketing group operations have additional application requirements.

Submit your completed application to us along with the $75 application fee.

When we receive your application, we’ll conduct an initial review to ensure it is complete. We’ll contact you if we need clarification or additional information to verify your operation’s ability to comply with the applicable standards.

Once your application has passed the initial review, we will schedule your operation’s inspection with a highly qualified inspector. The inspector will observe all parts of your operation, review documents and records, interview personnel, and conduct traceability audits to assess compliance with the standards. Inspection length will vary depending on the size, complexity and preparedness of your operation. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will review their findings with you. Then they will complete an inspection report about your operation and submit it to the HFAC team for a final review and certification decision.

We will review your operation’s inspection report for compliance with the program requirements and standards. We may reach out to you for additional information or clarification if needed. We will notify you of any compliance issues which require resolution before certification can be granted.

Once your operation has demonstrated full compliance with all requirements, your operation will be granted Certified Humane® certification!

We will send you a certificate of certification, valid for one year, which lists your company and your certified products. You can begin selling your products as Certified Humane® and we offer a number of free marketing benefits to help support your growth and promotion.

Each year, you will need to contact our office prior to your certificate’s expiration date and request to renew your certification. We’ll send you a renewal application for you to provide updates to your operation’s activities and notify us of any significant changes to your comprehensive system plan. Then we’ll repeat the certification process (application review, inspection, final review) and provide you with an updated certificate.