Collaboration with Global Animal Partnership

Rating how cattle, chickens, pigs and turkeys are raised for meat.

Global Animal Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to continually improving the lives of farm animals. They have developed the 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program to rate how cattle, chickens, pigs and turkeys are raised for meat. Standards for other species (like lamb) are in development so stay tuned and look for the ratings the next time you shop our meat department.

The Global Animal Partnership 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating

  • Encourages and inspires farmers and ranchers to move up the welfare ladder, if they so choose
  • Engages a broad spectrum of producers, rather than a minority segment of the agricultural community
  • Allows for a wider selection of products from farms and ranches for greater consumer options
  • More accurately and justly rewards and recognizes producers for their welfare practices
  • Better informs consumers about the production systems they may choose to support

How Are the Animals Raised?

In essence, for pigs and poultry, Step 1 prohibits cages and crates. For cattle, crowding is not acceptable. Step 2 requires environmental enrichment for indoor production systems and on feedlots; Step 3, outdoor access; Step 4, pasture-based production; Step 5, an animal-centered approach with all physical alterations prohibited; and, finally, Step 5+, the entire life of the animal spent on an integrated farm.

As of March 1, 2013, the 5-Step program includes more than 2,100 operations, raising more than 147 million animals annually, as certified farms and ranches, ranging from Step 1 to Step 5+:

Step-Rated Farms and Ranches by Species
  1 2 3 4 5 5+ Total
*As of March 1, 2013.
Beef 473 57 0 499 5 0 1034
Pork 324 108 50 26 1 1 510
Chicken 4 320 98 53 4 0 479
Turkey 102 14 11 3 1 2 133
Total 903 499 159 581 11 3 2156