Recognizing the importance of consistent, transparent labeling and the growing demand for grassfed products, Terrebonne, Oregon-based A Greener World (AGW) is now making its “Certified Grassfed by AGW” label available across the globe.
The first-ever grassfed seal with a meaningful animal welfare certification included: Certified Grassfed by AGW has experienced unprecedented growth due to widespread consumer, farmer and retailer demand. Already a leader in the U.S., AGW recently launched in Europe and South Africa, has begun working in Australia, New Zealand and South America, and is actively seeking certification partners in other countries. Farmers, ranchers and food producers across the globe can now demonstrate their commitment to 100 percent grass-feeding protocol, animal welfare, full traceability and farmer independence.
Certified Grassfed by AGW’s standards are rigorous, practical and achievable, offering a common understanding of high-welfare, grassfed production that delivers sustainability and meets consumer expectations. The Certified Grassfed by AGW label ensures:
- A 100 percent grassfed diet;
- Farms are audited at least annually by trained and experienced auditors;
- Full traceability on certified farms from birth through slaughter;
- Compliance with respected animal welfare standards;
- High-welfare slaughter;
- No clear-cutting of rainforests or old growth forests;
- Animals may not be grazed on clear cut rainforest or old growth forests; and
- Full product traceability to point of sale.
Consumers seek out grassfed products for a variety of reasons, including environmental sustainability, health and animal welfare. However, most grassfed labels guarantee none of these and are simply feeding protocols. Uniquely, AWG’s grassfed seal requires a farm to first be Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW for its welfare practices. When seals are used across borders, AGW requires the product to be clearly marked with the country of origin.
AGW is ISO/IEC Guide 17065 accredited, and additionally supports responsible use of antibiotics, prohibiting routine use while allowing treatment when indicated. AGW’s labels are consistently rated highest, with a recent finding by the Hartman Group reporting Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW as having the highest impact on consumer purchasing of any food label.
Companies are already seeing benefits from the label: Lye Cross Farm, an artisanal British cheesemaker sourcing milk from the UK’s first Certified Grassfed by AGW dairies, chose the label for its international credibility and market recognition—as well as the organization’s supply chain experience bringing products to market in the U.S. and elsewhere. With demand for grassfed products on the rise—and with it, the rise of misleading grassfed claims—Lye Cross Farm found it vital to verify its practices to stand out in a crowded market. Following its launch at Natural Products Expo West in California and ongoing expansion at Hollywood retailer Bristol Farms, Lye Cross Farms’ Certified Grassfed by AGW cheese soon will be available even more widely to U.S. customers. This intentional market diversification was a key component in the company’s strategy to mitigate uncertainty in the U.K. agriculture sector, an approach which has proven successful with forecasted annual sales of £2 million.
“This is a win for the planet, farms and the people who depend on both,” said Andrew Gunther, AGW global services executive director. “Our philosophy of thinking globally and acting locally has placed us on a similar trajectory as the global organics industry. By using common definitions for terms like ‘grassfed’ that translate across markets, we are facilitating a thriving global market for AGW-certified products that drives animal-centered systems.”
AGW is offering a first-year discount to producers certifying one or more seals. AGW currently offers the following certifications: Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, and its optional, additional accreditations, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW (the latter also can be awarded as a stand-alone label for non-livestock products). Multiple certifications can be audited in a single farm visit, and equivalence is offered wherever possible to streamline certification. A Greener World offers technical and marketing support to certified farms and businesses at no additional charge.
A nonprofit funded by public donations and membership, AGW offers a range of resources to help people make informed food choices, including an online directory of certified farms and products and Food Labels Exposed—a definitive guide to food label claims (available in print, online and as a smartphone app).