First US foodservice certification program to adopt farm animal welfare standards.
San Francisco, CA (PRUnderground) May 2nd, 2017
Eat REAL®, the nation’s leading certifier of nutritional and environmental excellence in foodservice, has announced that by 2021 all REAL Certified® restaurants and foodservice providers will be required to source a significant portion of their animal products from farms that are audited by one of the animal welfare certifications recognized by the ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart initiative. These certifications set clear standards for animal handling at every stage of life, ban inhumane and unsustainable practices including caging, crating, crowding and overuse of antibiotics, and provide a level of transparency around animal wellbeing that is currently uncommon in the restaurant industry. Eat REAL made this change to its certification requirements after consultation with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), and the two organizations will work together to bring more establishments into the program.
“Americans are finally waking up to the massive impact that factory farming is having on all species, including humans,” said Lawrence Williams, CEO of Eat REAL. “With the addition of credible animal welfare certifications with meaningful standards, consumers can rest assured that REAL Certified restaurants and foodservice providers are not only serving better meals for eaters and the environment, but now better for animals too.”
The program requires that either an entire food animal category (e.g., pork) or the most purchased animal product (e.g., ground beef) at REAL Certified establishments come from farms or ranches that are certified as either Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, or Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 2 or above. This new requirement, phased in by 2021, will make REAL Certified the first certification program in the US to address health, sustainability, and animal welfare in the foodservice sector. Eat REAL expects many establishments to exceed the required portion of welfare certified products.
“While today’s consumers are concerned about the treatment of farm animals and seeking more humane options when dining out, it can be difficult to distinguish meaningful standards and deceptive marketing,” said Nancy Roulston, Director of Corporate Engagement, ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare. “Conscientious consumers, chefs and foodservice companies should recognize what Eat REAL is bringing to the table: a forward-thinking program that understands farm animal welfare is part of a healthy and sustainable food system.”
REAL Certified establishments that have already committed to the new animal welfare standards are:
· fresh&co (New York, NY)
· Genuine Foods (Nationwide)
· Mossback (Seattle, WA)
· Sabio on Main (Pleasanton, CA)
· Ceres Community Project (Bay Area, CA)
Statements from REAL Certified Establishments:
“Humane treatment of farm animals is not only a question of basic humanity, but overwhelming evidence now links these practices to our health and the health of the planet. Responsibly raised animals also result in the most flavorful ingredients and the most delicious food. We are thrilled to be an early adopter of animal welfare standards required by Eat REAL and recognized by the ASPCA. Our customers can count on the best meat, dairy and eggs produced with the greatest possible consideration for the welfare of the animal.”
– Francis X. Hogan, Executive Chef & Partner, Sabio on Main, Pleasanton, CA
“At fresh&co, we believe that good food starts with good practices. We’re committed to giving our customers healthy foods that are good for them and the planet. We only partner with those who share our commitment to quality, responsibility, and sustainability and therefore, our commitment to Eat REAL, with its new animal welfare standards, is a natural next step in our mission. We’re proud to be part of this movement so our customers can trust that their meals support a healthy and sustainable food system.”
– George Tenedios, Chief Executive Officer, fresh&co.
About REAL Certified
REAL Certified® is a program of Eat REAL®, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to transforming America’s food system and fighting diet-related disease. Launched in 2012, REAL Certified is a nutrition and sustainability best practices certification program aimed at realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The organization has certified over 500 restaurants, corporate cafes and college dining services in 32 states, with financial support from the Tennessee Department of Health, the Park Foundation, the Mary Black Foundation, the Campbell Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. More information can be found at www.eatreal.org.