US poultry producer earns welfare certification
Fresh chicken products from US, family-owned Foster Farms have earned humane certification from American Humane Association.
The American Humane Certified (AHC) program, developed in 2000, is the nation’s first independent, third-party humane certification program for farm animals. Foster Farms fresh chicken products now carry the American Humane Certified seal for easy recognition by consumers. The company announced the certification at the dedication of the new Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility (PERF) at Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The facility features a fully working, American Humane Certified poultry barn modelled after a similar type found on Foster Farms’ own humane certified ranches.
Beginning in 2012, all company growing facilities dedicated to fresh chicken production in California and the Pacific Northwest have implemented AHC program standards and are participating in independent, third-party audits. The audits are administered by the AHC program and its third-party auditor, Validus. The audits consist of more than 200 stringent criteria covering living conditions, diet and natural behaviours. The standards set by American Humane Association are in practice on all Foster Farms fresh chicken ranches 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“While the actual certification is a new development for us, our commitment to raising chickens humanely has always been important to our company,” said Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster. “It is the right thing to do for our birds and we know that it is important to consumers. In 2008, we implemented a comprehensive animal welfare program guided by our two full-time veterinarians. Becoming an American Humane Certified producer is a genuine milestone for our company. We see it as a meaningful sign of progress and look forward to working with American Humane Association to further improve our animal welfare efforts.”
“We know that consumers want more choices for humanely raised poultry,” said Ira Brill, Foster Farms Director of Corporate Communications. “Our longtime commitment to the welfare of our birds has made this possible and certification provides consumers with that assurance.”
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