Where can I find Step-rated products in my area?
Step-rated products are available at Whole Foods Market and Roots Market grocery store locations. We’re in exciting discussions with other retailers—restaurants and groceries—who, like Whole Foods and Roots, are committed to higher welfare for animals in agriculture.
How can I tell if a product has been Step-rated?
Look for the distinct Step labels on pre-packaged products and in the fresh meat case.
Do the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards cover slaughter?
At this time, our multi-tiered standards are for the on-farm/on-ranch and transport components of animal production. We will be developing standards for other components, including breeding and slaughter. Read more about our development process.
Why aren’t there 5-Step standards for egg-laying hens, bison, turkeys, dairy cows, and other animals?
We are already working on creating 5-Step standards for egg-laying hens and will be developing standards for other species soon. On August 30, 2011, we launched our new 5-Step program for turkeys.
Do producers only need to meet Step 1 requirements to be certified?
No. Each Step level—from Step 1 to Step 5+—has its own requirements that must be met before certification by authorized, independent third-parties can assign compliance to that particular Step level. For example, a cattle ranch certified at Step 4 has met the standards requirements for Step 4, and a chicken farm certified at Step 2 has met the standards requirements for that Step level.
Are Step-rated products organic, too?
Many Step-rated producers also have organic certification, but the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards program assesses the level of welfare afforded to animals at the different Step levels and is completely independent and distinct from organic certification.
Are producers required to move up the Steps over time?
We certainly encourage continuous improvement and provide guidance to help producers to provide higher welfare for their animals, but each farmer and rancher—and each farm and ranch—is unique with different geographic, operational, and other factors that may impact what Step level is achievable. Producers have the freedom to aim for any Step level.
Where can I find a list of Step-rated products and Step-rated farms and ranches?
We’re actively working to develop a way to provide this information to you in a manner that addresses proprietary business concerns. In the meantime, please look for the distinct 5-Step labels.
I represent a retailer interested in discussing possible partnership. How do I learn more?
We’re engaging with new retail partners, both restaurants and groceries, and look forward to talking with you. Please read about the many benefits of incorporating our 5-Step program into your company.
I’m a producer interested in being audited and certified. What do I need to do?
First, thank you for your interest and your commitment to providing higher welfare to animals! Please read our step-by-step overview for becoming a Step-rated producer.
I’d like to support your work. How can I make a donation?
Thank you! As a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, Global Animal Partnership needs your financial support to continue to work to improve the well-being of animals in agriculture, support higher welfare farmers and ranchers, broaden consumer choice, and partner with retail leaders. Donations can be made through our secure online service or through the mail. Again, thank you.
Why did Global Animal Partnership choose to work with third-party certification companies instead of auditing and certifying on its own?
As the standard-setter, we feel that working with authorized, independent certifiersstrengthens the integrity of the program, which benefits the producers, retailers, and consumers alike.
How can I become a ratified auditor?
Global Animal Partnership’s authorized and skilled trainers teach and mentor auditors who, after successful completion of initial training, including examinations, and a probationary period, can become ratified 5-Step auditors. Learn more about our auditor training.
If I become a ratified auditor, am I guaranteed work?
Employment as a ratified auditor, whether on-staff or on-contract, is solely up to the discretion of the authorized, independent, third-party certification companies.
Is Global Animal Partnership part of Whole Foods Market?
Global Animal Partnership, a nonprofit organization, is not part of Whole Foods Market. The retailer was our exclusive pilot partner, and we’re thrilled we were able to work closely with them in our first two years. John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, serves as one of Global Animal Partnership’s Board of Directors members, along with representatives from the scientific, nonprofit animal welfare advocacy, and farming and ranching communities.