Below, we provide a short guide to clarify the differences between common food certifications, and enable you to make smart choices for your health and the environment.
Certified Grassfed by A Greener World – Certified Grassfed by AGW audits and certifies independent family farms that guarantee their products come from animals fed a 100% grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range, and managed with highest welfare and environmental standards.
Global Animal Partnership – GAP uses a third-party certifier to audit farms every 15 months under the 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating Program, which promotes and facilitates continuous improvement in animal agriculture and encourages welfare-friendly farming practices. The farm is certified to the highest step level they are eligible for.
Certified Humane – Certified Humane is a third-party accreditation that requires ruminants to have outdoor pasture access for at least part of their lives, defines space requirements and bird and animal management, and carries out audits to its published standards. Certified Humane offers certifications for conventional (caged), cage-free, free-range, and pasture-raised operations.
Fairtrade – The Fairtrade Mark ensures that farmers and workers have been paid a fair price for their product. In addition to the fair price, producers also receive a premium which goes towards the social, environmental and economic development of the local community where the product was produced.
Fair Trade – Fair Trade Certified standards are aimed towards cultivating a global trade model that empowers communities, farmers, workers, and consumers while protecting the environment. Certification means that the product complies with the Fair Trade USA’s extensive set of standards which vary across industries. Although the standards are defined and established by Fair Trade, licenses are only issued after an independent third-party has certified that these standards are met.
Animal Welfare Approved – Requires access to pasture or range for all animals. Beak trimming of poultry and tail docking of pigs and cattle are prohibited, while pain relief is required for removal of horn buds of cattle. Producers must be “family farmers”.
Certified Organic – Certified Organic requires that all animals are given outdoor access, but access is not defined and vegetation is not required for poultry and pigs. Ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats) must have access to pasture. No antibiotics or hormones can be administered and there can be no use of synthetic additives like pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Certified Non-GMO by A Greener World – Certified Non-GMO by AGW is an optional addition to the Animal Welfare Approved standards. This certification guarantees food products are not only produced without genetically modified feed, supplements or ingredients, but also come from animals raised according to the animal welfare standards under Animal Welfare Approved by AGW.
Certified Naturally Grown – Certified Naturally Grown promotes sustainable agriculture through it’s peer-review certification program for farmers producing food for their local communities. CNG farmers don’t use any synthetic chemicals or GMOs and their livestock are raised mostly on pasture with ample space for movement.
Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World – Animal Welfare Approved by AGW audits and certifies independent family farms that are committed to high standards of animal welfare on pasture-based farms. They ensure that animals have the opportunity to perform natural and instinctive behaviors essential to their well-being and they require audited, high-welfare slaughter practices.
GrassFed Certified – Food Alliance Certified requires continuous access to pasture and a diet of 100% forage (no grain). Feedlots are prohibited.
GC Content Writer: Sofia Regalado