Why Was One Health Certified Created?
Conventional animal production is not required to follow any specific animal welfare practices and is not audited for compliance. To address this, a coalition of technical experts from chicken and turkey companies, non-profit organizations, and university scientists worked together to create a sensible and affordable program that cares for food animals in a healthier way, while reducing consumer confusion with clear labeling.
Using a One Health approach—a scientific philosophy that encourages a collaborative approach of multiple disciplines working to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our shared environment—One Health Certified is able to address multiple areas in protein production. The One Health Certified food animal certification program defines species-specific guidelines for each animal protein under one universal program.
The Certification Process
Any animal producer may seek One Health Certified certification for their production system by aligning their animal care practices with those contained in the program, paying the fee, and successfully passing a third-party audit to the One Health Certified standard. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) Process Verified Program auditing service will ensure producer compliance with program guidelines via annually completed audits.
Current standards available for USDA-AMS to audit under the One Health Certified program are chicken and turkey. Standards for additional animal proteins are in progress and will become available in the future. The standards assure that food product are produced in a healthy way for animals, consumers, and the environment.
The Standards Oversight Committee
One Health Certified program standards are governed by the Standards Oversight Committee, a council of technical experts from multiple stakeholders with equal representation from animal agriculture, allied industry organizations, and universities.