Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) is a food label for meat and dairy products that come from farm animals raised to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards. The programme was founded in 2006 as a market-based solution to the growing consumer demand for meat, eggs and dairy products from animals treated with high welfare and managed with the environment in mind.
It’s now widely accepted that raising animals intensively – indoors or confined on dirt feedlots – is not only bad for animal welfare, but it’s also harming human health and the wider environment. You only have to look at the headlines about the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, environmental pollution from intensive farming systems, and animal welfare abuses to see that our food system is broken.
The AWA programme operates on the simple understanding that the way we raise our animals, the nutritional quality of the meat, milk and eggs they produce, and the impact of farming systems on the environment, are all intrinsically linked. If we manage our animals properly and according to their needs, we don’t have to rely on things like routine antibiotics and other chemical inputs to farm. We know that healthy, content animals produce better tasting, healthier meat, milk and eggs. And we know that pasture-based farming livestock systems can actually have a positive impact on the environment, too. Click here to learn more about the benefits of pasture-based farming.