American Humane® Certified FAQ

What is American Humane Association?

AHC Certified.American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and only non-profit dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since its founding in 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals.

American Humane Association is dedicated to the idea that all animals – those in our homes, those in service to our country, and those raised on our farms and ranches – are entitled to humane treatment. American Humane Association believes all consumers deserve access to humanely raised animal protein choices.

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What does it mean to be American Humane® Certified?

Foster Farms’ certification by American Humane Association’s American Humane® Certified program, the nation’s first independent, third-party audit program for farm animals, is your assurance that Foster Farms chickens have passed an independent, 200-plus-item audit covering living conditions, diet and natural behaviors. The standards set by American Humane Association are in practice on all Foster Farms fresh chicken ranches 24/7, 365 days a year.

Family–owned Foster Farms is the first West Coast, fresh chicken producer to be American Humane® Certified.

Today, working with over 100 producers on more than 7,000 farms, we are making it possible for millions of farm animals to enjoy a better quality of life because of the ethical, science-based standards established by the American Humane® Certified program.

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What standards are required to be American Humane® Certified?

To earn this certification, all Foster Farms growing facilities dedicated to fresh chicken production were audited and assessed by an independent, third-party auditor. American Humane® Certified program employs rigorous, science-based and veterinary expert-backed standards, including more than 200 species-specific criteria validated by world-renowned animal care experts. These criteria govern diet, living conditions and the ability to perform natural behaviors, among other protections.

Humane care standards are regularly reviewed by American Humane Association’s Scientific Advisory Committee, which comprises leading scientists and researchers in animal welfare, including globally recognized thought leaders Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Joy Mench, who specialize in humane care for livestock and poultry.

American Humane® Certified standards were built on the internationally accepted values of the Five Freedoms:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, disease
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

Did Foster Farms raise chicken humanely before its certification?

Yes. For more than 70 years, Foster Farms has placed the highest priority on animal welfare. We believe that raising our chicken locally and humanely is the right thing to do and is at the foundation of providing safe, quality and affordable poultry to West Coast consumers.

Foster Farms has made steady advancements over time to refine its animal welfare practices and policies. In 2008, Foster Farms updated its employee animal-welfare policy to represent among the most comprehensive animal welfare programs in the industry. We also employ two full-time avian veterinarians and a poultry nutritionist. Our employees are among our greatest assets. They have years of experience and receive annual training in the proper care and handling of our birds. As a best practice, Foster Farms is committed to continuous improvement of our animal welfare program.

Why did Foster Farms align with the American Humane® Certified program?

Foster Farms has partnered with American Humane Association because we share the organization’s commitment to communities, children and animals, and we welcome and appreciate its ethical, science-based standards. We recognize that animal welfare is important to the people of California and the Pacific Northwest, and that independent review by American Humane Association – an organization with long experience in this area – is the best guarantee that their expectations are being met.

Foster Farms has always taken a leadership position on issues concerning the quality and wholesomeness of fresh chicken. From continuing our founders’ legacy of growing chicken locally to advocating against the use of sodium enhancers or “plumping” in fresh chicken labeled “natural,” Foster Farms is committed to giving consumers the fresh, natural and now American Humane® Certified poultry they deserve.

Will Foster Farms increase the price of its American Humane® Certified chicken?

No. We believe that raising our chicken locally and humanely is the right thing to do. All consumers deserve access to the highest quality, locally grown, humanely raised poultry at an excellent value. Foster Farms has made investments toward this initiative at no added cost to consumers.

Foster Farms American Humane® Certified fresh chicken continues the company’s longstanding reputation of providing consumers with the utmost in quality.

How are Foster Farms chickens raised?

Foster Farms chickens are locally grown and raised in large barns with room to move around freely and express normal behaviors. The environmental temperature, humidity and air speed within each barn are controlled and monitored 24 hours a day to ensure birds are comfortable and do not become too hot or too cold. Our birds have continuous access to an adequate supply of clean, fresh drinking water and are fed a highly nutritious, balanced diet composed primarily of corn and soy meal, with added vitamins and minerals. Foster Farms birds mature naturally – without any added steroids or hormones.

We believe, and American Humane Association agrees, that this protective environment promotes good health and care for our birds.

How will Foster Farms identify products as American Humane® Certified?

Foster Farms branded fresh chicken features the American Humane® Certified logo on its packaging.