Great news! G.A.P.’s Better Chicken Project Certified chicken is now available at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide!
As you may recall, G.A.P.’s Better Chicken Project established a research-based protocol for evaluating broiler chicken breeds based on behavior, meat quality, production, and consistently superior welfare outcomes. And now you can purchase this chicken at your local Whole Foods Market store.
“G.A.P.’s certification and labeling requirements are built into every product bearing the new Better Chicken label,” said Malissa Lucas, Director of Certification Services at EarthClaims, LLC, the North American certifying agent for G.A.P. “I have visited these birds on farm, and it is impressive to observe their activity and energy levels, particularly the way they fully interact with their living environment.”
G.A.P. worked with multiple stakeholders, including producers, farmers, and advocates to create the label and standards. La Belle Patrimoine, Pitman Farms, and Cooks Venture Poultry Inc., are all G.A.P. Certified partners and the first to grow these remarkable birds.
Mike Charles, of LaBelle Patrimoine, a longtime G.A.P. partner, was one of the first farms to make this commitment: “We are incredibly proud to be a part of this program, which proves that the right combination of breed and animal welfare are what truly make a better chicken. It has always been my mission to raise healthy, active broiler chickens of the highest quality and taste.”
Leading welfare advocates were also a key part of this undertaking. “Most chickens in the U.S. are selectively bred for rapid growth with genetics that predispose them to pain and suffering,” says Nancy Roulston, Senior Director of Corporate Policy and Animal Science at the ASPCA. “G.A.P.’s new Better Chicken Project Certified label builds on its groundbreaking work assessing chicken breeds for objective animal welfare criteria to help consumers identify more humane options in the marketplace. The ASPCA is thrilled to recognize the industry-leading farmers and food brands that adopt this label through our Shop With Your Heart program.”
“The welfare of broiler chickens is one of the most important issues in farm animal protection, globally says Dr. Sara Shields, Director of Farm Animal Welfare Science at Humane Society International. “G.A.P.’s new, science-based breed eligibility requirements have industry-wide transformative potential. I am grateful to the farmers embracing these meaningful changes and to consumers who are making conscientious purchasing decisions.”
So, the next time you’re at Whole Foods Market, look for G.A.P.’s Better Chicken Project label and #MakeitGAP! To learn more about the labels and what they mean, visit our Better Chicken page. To learn more about the entire multi-year research process for coming up with eligible breeds, visit our Better Chicken Project page.