What Is The 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating Program?

Whole Foods highlights through a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system how animals are raised before being purchased by consumers. Global Animal Partnership (GAP), developers of Whole Foods' rating system, seeks to achieve higher welfare for farm animals by building partnerships, working in collaboration with farmers, ranchers, food retail, and animal science experts.

Whole Foods Market harbors the same hopes for its chickens that many parents do for their kids: That they'll get plenty of fresh air, live at home until they reach maturity and avoid gaining weight so fast that they can't walk.

While Whole Foods Market was the driving force behind developing the standards, GAP Executive Director Miyun Park believes they will move well beyond the chain, spurring "massive improvements in the way animals are raised in this country."

The 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating is available for beef cattle, pigs, and broiler chickens.