American Humane, the country's first national humane organization, is certifying Springer Mountain Farms for another year of excellent animal welfare. Springer Mountain Farms is the recipient of this hallmark certification as it prioritizes the needs and health of the chickens in its care.
"Springer Mountain Farms continues to trailblaze in the humane care of broiler chickens," said Robin Ganzert, Ph.D., president & CEO of American Humane. "Working with stakeholders in the agriculture industry, like those at Springer Mountain Farms, allows American Humane to continue elevating standards for animals on farms and ranches."
American Humane's farm program is the first and largest of its kind and Springer Mountain Farms was the first broiler producer to achieve certification more than 20 years ago. Today, thanks to the American Humane CertifiedTM program, the lives of some one billion farm animals are improved.
"We set out to produce the healthiest, most tender, best tasting chicken on the market without the use of antibiotics in the late 90s," said Gus Arrendale, president of Springer Mountain Farms. "It was our low-stress, humane growing practices coupled with our high-quality feed that enabled us to do so. To earn certification by the American Humane Association in 2001 for those practices was truly an honor and still is today as we celebrate these 20 years," added Arrendale.
The American Humane CertifiedTM seal provides proof that a product has been certified by a third-party and independently audited against science-based animal welfare standards. All American Humane CertifiedTM producers are judged against more than 200 metrics drawn up in collaboration with an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of leading experts in the fields of agriculture, species-specific animal behavior and ethics.
Consumer demand for humanely raised products has risen sharply in recent years and producers and retailers are responding to this call to action. Ten of the nation's top 12 grocery retailers now carry products that are American Humane CertifiedTM, according to a recent analysis by American Humane. More than 90 percent of people surveyed in an American Humane study reported being "very concerned" about farm animal welfare and they consider the consumption of humanely raised products to be "very important."
Springer Mountain Farms continues to work alongside American Humane to educate the public on the importance of humane standards in agriculture. Last year, the Behind the Label podcast, produced by Heritage Radio Network, took an in-depth look at how the American Humane CertifiedTM process is realized onsite at Springer Mountain Farms.
Producers like Springer Mountain Farms are evidence that localized efforts can make an outsized impact. Every single farm and facility operated by Springer Mountains Farms is family owned and within a 60-mile radius of their home office in Baldwin, Georgia. Certified products from Springer Mountain Farms can be found in grocery stores up and down the East Coast and as far west as Texas.
"Producers like Springer Mountain Farms not only improve the lives of their own birds but help encourage others in the space to improve their welfare standards," said Dr. Ganzert.