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Whole Foods lauded for animal welfare practices


Whole Foods Market, whose mission includes a promise toward the humane treatment of animals, is winning accolades for its animal welfare practices.

The company has been recognized with a Good Sow Commendation and a Global Good Egg Award from Compassion in World Farming.

“Whole Foods Market is proud to receive these awards in recognition of our commitment to improving farm animal welfare. We require all shell eggs sold in our stores and all eggs used in our kitchens and bakeries to be cage-free. And through our adoption of the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Program, the lives of sows associated with our fresh meat program have been greatly improved," said Margaret Wittenberg, global vice president of Quality Standards at Whole Foods Market. "We are able to contribute to a significant and positive impact on animal agriculture thanks to the partnerships we have with our producers, who put equally strong emphasis on the lives and welfare of their farm animals as they do on ensuring high-quality products."

The Good Sow Commendation recognizes companies that use or are committed to using higher welfare systems for sows. Specifically, the award’s criteria require that animals have no confinement (sow stalls and farrowing crates), and that adequate bedding material is provided throughout life.

The Good Egg Award recognizes companies that use or are committed to using cage-free eggs or egg products. Since 2004, all of the fresh eggs sold in Whole Foods Market’s dairy cases, and since 2005, all eggs used in its kitchens, bakeries and commissaries have come from suppliers that follow cage-free production methods.

Additionally, all fresh pork sold at Whole Foods Market comes from farms that have achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare program, which outlines and requires more than 100 species-specific husbandry and management practices that promote farm animal welfare. Compassion in World Farming uses its Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards to recognize market-leading companies for their current policies or commitments, which result in positive impacts on farm animal welfare across their supply chains.

In fiscal year 2014, the company had sales of more than $14 billion and currently has more than 420 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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