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.