Whole Foods furthering its commitment to animal welfare

Whole Foods Market Expands Industry-Leading Standards for Animal Welfare and Third-Party Certifications

Additional Products and Species Now Required to Meet Retailer’s Rigorous Animal Welfare Standards

AUSTIN, Texas (June 7, 2024) – Whole Foods Market is furthering its commitment to animal welfare by requiring additional products and species to meet its quality standards for meat. The company is increasing the number of approved third-party animal welfare programs that certify products sold in its stores to support the expanded scope.

Implementing these measures will facilitate increased accountability and transparency for humanely raised animals, as well as give more suppliers access to Whole Foods Market’s shelves.

“We have a legacy at Whole Foods Market of selling products customers can trust through our quality standards,” said Wes Rose, Vice President of Perishables at Whole Foods Market. “Expanding the scope of our meat standards is just another step forward in providing high quality choices for our customers.”

The newly approved third-party programs include A Greener World’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved, Humane Farm Animal Care’s Certified Humane Raised and Handled, and Regenerative Organic Alliance’s Regenerative Organic Certified. These are in addition to the Global Animal Partnership’s Animal Welfare Certified program, which is currently required for all beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and goat products in the meat service case.  This will increase access to the market for farmers and ranchers around the world by allowing suppliers to choose the trusted certification program that best complements their farming system.

These expanded certifications will support the recent addition of species not previously covered under the animal welfare policy including bison, veal, venison, duck, goose, and quail. Additionally, all frozen, smoked, cooked, and cured products sold in the Meat department will be required to adhere to one of the approved third-party animal welfare programs for the meat ingredients in these products.

Every product in the retailer’s meat department is already required to meet Whole Foods Market’s existing quality standards of no antibiotics ever, no animal byproducts in feed, no synthetic nitrates or nitrites, required inspections for animal welfare at slaughter, and no crates, cages or tethers. Whole Foods Market also requires no added hormones through feed, injections, implants or any other method. While federal regulations allow the use of hormones when raising cattle, pigs and lambs, Whole Foods Market does not.

In 2026, in addition to the existing meat quality standards, customers can find the program logo or seal on product packaging, shelf strips, or scale tags for all products in the meat department to confirm that the product is animal welfare certified.

Learn more about Whole Foods Market’s Meat Department Quality Standards here.

About Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1980, Austin-based Whole Foods Market is the world’s leading natural and organic foods retailer and the first certified organic national grocer in the United States. Part of Amazon’s Worldwide Grocery Stores, Whole Foods Market serves customers in more than 530 stores across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. To learn more about Whole Foods Market, please visit https://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/.

Contact: media@wholefoods.com

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