The modern consumer values bird welfare, how antibiotics are used and environmental impacts more than ever before. In response, the chicken industry has modified production practices, but has struggled to find the ideal balance.

The One Health Certified program could help provide producers with a framework for a balanced approach to bird welfare, antimicrobial resistance and environmental impact.

“One Health Certified is a holistic, transparent, comprehensive animal raising program comprised of responsible animal care practices that could be a solution to a lot of the confusion in the marketplace right now,” Dr. Don Ritter, director of technical marketing at Mountaire Farms, said.

What is One Health?

The One Health Certified program is focused on the concept of One Health – a recognition that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

“Many of the existing certification programs have too many tradeoffs and unintended consequences for the consumer. For an example, they may be clear that antibiotics are not used in animals, but they don’t talk about the animal health outcomes of that removal or they may talk about slow growth chickens, but they don’t talk about how it doubles the carbon footprint,” Ritter explained.

“When you look at these tradeoffs in a balanced way, you create a program based on responsible care practices and One Health principles that really strives for optimal outcomes for everybody.”

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The program is currently only open to chicken and turkey producers and administered by the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE). Producers that qualify for certification will be able to label retail and wholesale products with the One Health Certified logo, which conveys that responsible animal care practices have been followed and verified.

“This is a program that has a real retail sales benefit because it has a consumer-facing approved logo. It can be on a package, a website, a menu or any other marketing materials,” Ritter said. “The producers that adopt this program will be able to demonstrate their commitment to raising animals in responsible and sustainable ways.”

Ritter will present on the One Health Certified program at Strategies to market modern poultry production practices, scheduled for Wednesday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m. CDT. Free registration for the webinar is now open.

This presentation is a part of the Chicken Marketing Summit series of webinars, proudly sponsored by Zoetis.

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