When we launched Humane Farm Animal Care and the Certified Humane® program in 2003, our mission involved motivating farmers to adopt our Humane Standards of Care – and encouraging consumers to support those farmers by shopping for the Certified Humane® label.
Just 14 years later, we are seeing the impact that educated and ethical shoppers are having on farm animal welfare.
“Animal welfare organizations supported by consumers have been a driving force for change, though the decision to improve animal welfare is ultimately left to the individual company, whose response is often grounded in the desire to be competitive in a changing marketplace and proactively responsive to emerging trends,” says a recent report titled “Animal Welfare: Issues & Opportunities in the Meat, Poultry & Egg Markets in the U.S.”
The report also says more than half of U.S. consumers (58%) are more concerned about food animal welfare now than they were just a few years ago, which includes animal handling, housing, feeding, and slaughter – all concerns covered by Humane Farm Animal Care’s humane standards of care.
While the report revealed that 33% of consumers viewed themselves as well informed about claims such as “hormone/steroid/antibiotic-free, cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised and certified humane,” nearly double that number agree that the “humane treatment of animals raised for food should be a societal concern.”
While more people want farm animals raised Certified Humane®, more than 80% of consumers are still confused about most food labels, which less than ethical companies are betting on to sell their products. Here are three examples of the challenges consumers face in interpreting labels.
That’s why the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label matters so much for farm animal welfare. It’s the one label that is supported by humane standards of care and backed by third-party inspections — all experts in their field of animal welfare — so you know a certain set of humane standards of care are being met.
And the more consumers shop for and ask for Certified Humane® products, the more farmers, producers, food companies, grocery stores and restaurants will respond to these consumer demands by adopting humane standards of care and becoming Certified Humane®.