Animal Welfare Approved
- General Operating Support
- Ecological Agriculture
The primary goals of Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) are to identify, certify, and support independent farmers who raise their animals outdoors on pasture according to some of the highest animal welfare and ecological standards in the world.
AWA was founded in 2006 as a nonprofit, market-based solution to the growing public concern about the damage industrial farming systems are having on our health, animal welfare, and the environment. The program operates on the simple understanding that the way we raise animals, the nutritional quality of the food they produce, and the impact of the farming system on the environment, are all intrinsically linked.
AWA sets strict standards that farmers must follow before they can sell their meat, eggs and dairy products using the AWA logo. Every farm in the AWA program is audited at least once a year to confirm compliance. The only farm program in the U.S. to be accredited to ISO 65 quality assurance standards, AWA operates on a nonprofit basis and joining the program is free for farmers. As AWA is not dependent on certification fees it can remain completely impartial when certifying farms, resulting in an unrivaled integrity, transparency and trust of the AWA logo among today’s conscientious consumers. Farmers can also take advantage of free technical and marketing support, as well as financial assistance through AWA’s Good Husbandry Grants program, to ensure they transition profitably from conventional to high welfare, sustainable systems.
Last, AWA is committed to educating consumers, retailers, restaurants, and other organizations about the benefits and challenges of different agricultural systems using blogs, online and print news, and social media, as well as in depth science-based reports and technical papers.