Born Free Eggs in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is dedicated to bringing humanely-raised eggs to the marketplace. Originating as a strong regional brand in the northeast U.S., Born Free Free-Range and Born Free Pasture-Based eggs made their national debut in 2017 and committed this market to the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label.
Born Free eggs are produced by approved, licensed producers on farms located throughout the United States, and are distributed locally. “The farmers are highly-focused on the humane care of the hens,” says Dave Holdsworth, Vice President of Marketing. “Producers are selected for their ability to meet our quality standards.
Amy Barkley, Quality Assurance Manager, says, “I have visited these small farms and see how the farmers take care of their birds. They know their birds and are committed to providing the highest standard of care for every bird in their flock.”
Born Free Eggs gives every farm a proprietary manual of operations, which includes Humane Farm Animal Care’s standards, to ensure the uniform and humane care of the laying hens.
“As a company, it’s critically important for us to make sure everything for the birds is done humanely,” Barkley emphasized. “The welfare of the birds is our number one concern. Certified Humane has a long and established reputation and certification standards that are on target with our ethics. Their third-party verification assures consumers our birds are receiving proper care.”
Born Free Eggs follow a dual audit process: Company veterinarians audit their farms, and HFAC’s third-party inspectors, all veterinarians and scientists with specialties in farm animal welfare, also audit farms to ensure humane standards are being met for the hens. “This is a great double check for us to pass onto the consumer,” says Barkley.
Reasons to become Certified Humane®
Born Free Eggs applied for the Certified Humane® program because they wanted a label backed by standards that were well-established and well-known in the U.S. “The free-range and pasture-range market is fragmented with so many different labels and standards, like “happy” and “natural,” that aren’t backed by standards,” says Holdsworth. “We felt it was important to bring Born Free Eggs to the rest of the U.S. with the guaranteed backing and standards of the Certified Humane label.”
“The Certified Humane market is the fastest growing market among consumers interested in free range and pastured range eggs, and retailers selling egg products,” says Holdsworth. “We recognize the power of the Certified Humane logo and the big boost the recognized credibility provides our consumers.”
Born Free Pasture-Raised hens have a housing system that provides a more expansive outdoor area that is at least equivalent in size to the indoor space, and often considerably larger. The hens can forage outside, as seasonally available. Born Free Free-Range hens are free to roam in spacious barns and have access to the outdoors. The outdoor access varies from farm to farm and can include outdoor runs that are covered with a roof to more extensive fenced pasture areas with no roof overhead.
Born Free Eggs also looks after the welfare of their hens by feeding them a fully-vegetarian diet that contains no animal by-products, antibiotics, hormones, or steroids, just a few of the standards which also must be met to qualify for the Certified Humane® program.
“What aligns us with Humane Farm Animal Care is that their Animal Care Standards for the Certified Humane® program are scientifically-based,” says Barkley. “We are high on science at Born Free. We always look to science for the newest innovations, and we know Certified Humane stays up-to-date on those standards.”