Vital Farms, creator of the pasture-raised egg category and the largest producer of pasture-raised eggs in the US, has proposed amendments to the National Organic Program's (NOP) new Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices to include measures that will help improve the humane treatment of farm animals.
Vital Farms' core mission is to bring ethically and sustainable produced food to the table and the company takes pride in producing pasture-raised eggs using a well-defined set of organic agricultural practices that includes the humane treatment of farm animals as a central tenet. Animal welfare is essential to sustainable and ethical agriculture, and Vital Farms firmly believes that all farm animals should be raised with ample outdoor access, particularly those raised in Certified Organic systems.
"Organic standards have always lacked clear, well-defined requirements for humane treatment of animals," explains Matt O'Hayer, Founder and CEO, Vital Farms. "We feel strongly that the proposed changes do not go far enough in providing for farm animals' needs, nor for the expectations of organic shoppers. We are honest and transparent with our customers so that they can rely on us for humane and sustainable business practices. Our goal is to increase organic standards and to incorporate these values industry-wide."
Vital Farms follows the Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) standards for pasture raising laying hens by providing 108 square feet per bird of pasture. While pleased that the NOP is finally moving forward with this critical overhaul and expansion of the organic livestock production standard, Vital Farms is requesting that additional measures be taken in order to improve the humane treatment of animals with the new proposed practices for organic livestock and poultry. Vital Farms' amendments to the proposed NOP Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices aims to enforce more stringent outdoor access requirements for poultry so that they may live in an environment that more closely resembles their natural habitats.