5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating
Your way of knowing how the animals were raised for the meat you are buying.

All beef, chicken, pork and turkey in our fresh meat cases must come from producers who have achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating. As their rating program expands to other species, we will require our suppliers for those species to be certified as well.

Seeing Step-Rated Meat in Our Stores

Look for this rating system when you choose our beef, chicken, pork or turkey. It’s your way of knowing how the animals were raised for the meat you are buying.


Animal centered, entire life on same farm


Animal centered, no physical alterations


Pasture centered


Enhanced outdoor access


Enriched environment


No cages, no crates, no crowding

Whole Foods Market requires at least a Step-1 rating for Step-rated species

Animal Welfare Rating System

Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program outlines specific husbandry and management practices that promote farm-animal welfare. Step 1 is the first level in the program and a clear departure form conventional animal agricultural practices.

At Step 1 farmers and ranchers must focus intently on the welfare of their animals and meet approximately 100 species-specific standards.

Beyond Step 1, each successive Step requires more animal-centered practices. The progressive nature of the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program encourages producers to evolve their practices to attain higher Step ratings.

For more detailed information on each step and species-specific welfare information, visit the Global Animal Partnership website.