Is the label verified?
Yes
Is the meaning of the label consistent?
Yes
Are the label standards publicly available?
Yes
Is information about the organization publicly available?
Partially
Is the organization free from conflict of interest?
Yes, with one exception.
Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?
Yes

This label can be found on: beef, goat, lamb, bison, dairy products

PROGRAM NAME: American Grassfed

ORGANIZATION: American Grassfed Association
url: www.americangrassfed.org

LABEL STANDARDShttp://www.americangrassfed.org/about-us/our-standards/

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How meaningful is the label?

Highly Meaningful.

The label’s standards require that the animal’s diet was composed entirely of grass and forage, with the exception of milk prior to weaning. Grain in the diet is prohibited, and so are animal by-products. The administration of antibiotics and growth hormones is also prohibited. 

Animals must have continuous access to pasture, and raising animals in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is prohibited.

The standards include requirements for sustainable pasture and land management, such as ensuring that stocking rates are appropriate to the soil, climate and geography of the farm/ranch.

Standards prohibit the intentional feeding of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to certified animals.

While there are no detailed standards for humane treatment during handling, transport and slaughter, the standards do require that all livestock production methods and management must promote animal health and welfare and prohibit the use of electric prods except for emergency use.

Is the label verified?

Yes.

The American Grassfed Association works with independent auditors who inspect the farm yearly. 

The standards do not require that every animal must be raised on an AGA certified farm from birth. Producers can purchase animals from non-AGA certified farms, but the supplying farm must sign an affidavit attesting that the animal was raised according to  the AGA standards. Only animals under one year of age can be purchased from a non-AGA certified farm.


Is the meaning of the label consistent?

Yes.

Are the label standards publicly available?

Yes.

Is information about the organization publicly available?

Partially.

Board of Directors: Yes. The members of the Board of Directors, and their affiliations, are listed on the website.

Financial information: No. Financial information is not made available on the website, and the IRS Form 990 is not available publicly.

Is the organization free from conflict of interest?

Yes, with one exception.

Standards development: Yes. The organization has a conflict of interest policy to ensure that board members with a conflict of interest do not vote on the standards development.

Verification: Verification is free from conflict of interest, with one exception. The standards allow producers to buy stock animals, under one year of age, from a supplier who is a member of the American Grassfed Association but does not have to be certified. Products from these animals can then be sold with the American Grassfed label. The standards do require that the supplier of the stock animals sign an affidavit stating that the animals were raised in accordance to the AGA standards, but there is no third-party verification.

Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?

Yes.

Standards development: Yes. The standards were initially developed by a group of producers, food service industry personnel, animal welfare organizations and consumer interest organizations. 

Standards updates: Yes. When changes to the standards are proposed, comments are accepted from industry and the public. The draft is posted on the website and also shared with the public through the AGA email list (with over 6,000 recipients) and comments are accepted.