GAP began as an idea created by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market. He felt change in animal agriculture would be easier if there was a framework in place to support farmers and reward improvement. He also felt that while Whole Foods Market could be integral to helping this type of a system work effectively, it would be necessary for GAP to become its own entity in order to make a global impact. And the rest, they say, is history.

Since 2008, we’ve blazed a trail creating farm animal welfare standards in a framework that had never been utilized before. Over the years, we’ve helped the industry shift towards new production systems, such as putting grain finished cattle on pasture instead of in a feed lot for finishing – something we were told was impossible when we started. Unlike other programs, we have also included standards for pullets (young laying hens) because we knew it was important to the success of cage-free systems. We took the lead and developed the Better Chicken Welfare Initiative. And we’ve begun the process to create standards for dairy cattle and farmed salmon.

Whole Foods Market

2008

Whole Foods Market (WFM) creates Global Animal Partnership as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit.
GAP in the Store

2011

2011 Launch in WFM meat departments in US and Canada. 100% of beef, pork and chicken supply for meat department is GAP certified. Also adds turkey standards to the program.
GAP Labeled Products

2014

Launch GAP’s Labeled Product Authorization (LPA) program, placing the GAP label on products in retail ready packages (like bacon, chicken nuggets, meatballs etc).
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2016

Add standards for sheep, goat, and bison (including slaughter). Announce Better Chicken Welfare initiative, and partnership with Compass Group USA.
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2017

GAP secures funding from Open Philanthropy Project in order to provide funding to the University of Guelph study, assessing different breeds of chickens. Also, added laying hen and pullet standards.
Lloyd's Register

2018

Add additional certifier for farms based in the UK, Europe and South America.
Livestock Integrity Solutions Australasia - 2019 New Certifier Added

2019

GAP accredits Livestock Integrity Solutions Australasia (LISA) as a new certifier covering Australia and Asia.