Consumers deserve choices when choosing food to feed their families. The One Health Certified™ program provides a new consumer choice label that addresses important concerns about how food animals are raised in a balanced and sustainable way. This standard avoids some of the trade-offs and unintended consequences associated with some of the more extreme and costly animal care programs available in the marketplace.
One Health Certified™ transforms conventional production practices into a benchmarked umbrella program that applies similar responsible care guidelines to all commodity groups. Compliance with program requirements is assured through annual government audits conducted by USDA-AMS.
Consumers demand transparency in the way that food animals are produced. One Health Certified™ provides a comprehensive set of responsible animal care guidelines that must be followed in order to become a certified producer in this program. Producers who become approved will demonstrate to their customers that they follow a program that strives to achieve optimal health outcomes for animals, people, and the planet by participating in a continuous improvement program governed by technical experts from multiple stakeholders.
Food animal producers and food purveyors are partners in a very connected food chain from farm to fork. Retailers, wholesalers, and restaurants can add value to their protein offerings and demonstrate their commitment to raising animals responsibly and sustainably by sourcing One Health Certified™ products. By adopting this program, consumer facing companies will be seen as a leader in assuring that animals raised for their protein supply chain are brought up using best responsible care practices in a transparent program that promotes optimal outcomes for everyone.
There are several differences between this program and others on the market today:
- One Health Certified™ is the only comprehensive animal care program that addresses several important areas of animal agriculture within a sustainable continuous improvement process.
- One Health Certified™ is an open program; any producer can elect to participate. As such, the standards are publicly available and every company is held to the same standards, unlike many of the more narrowly focused labels where the actual standards are not publicly accessible.
- One Health Certified™ is a systems-based certification process as opposed to a package-based certification used for other labels like No Antibiotics Ever. Package-based labels create a two-tiered marketing system that has labeled product and then second tier, less valuable product that fails to meet the label requirements. In systems-based programs, like One Health Certified™, the entire system is labeled and the standards are applied broadly.
- Existing food labels are often confusing; One Health Certified™ takes the guesswork out of food shopping by utilizing a set of simple logos that convey that responsible animal care practices have been followed and verified to achieve optimal health outcomes for animals, consumers, and the planet.
Conventional animal production is not required to follow any specific animal care practices and is not audited for compliance. One Health Certified™ standards define transparent, responsible animal care practices that farmers must follow and are verified by government audits conducted by USDA.
One-dimensional programs such as No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) focus only on antibiotic use. This package-based approach creates competing priorities that may at times be detrimental to animal health and welfare, because sick animals that are treated with antibiotics are no longer eligible for certification and must be diverted into a different product stream.
One Health Certified™ is a comprehensive program with core principles that cover the entire animal raising process and prioritize animal health and welfare. It is a systems-based certification program that does not create a two-tier product stream, thus assuring a dependable and consistent supply chain for customers.
It’s important to avoid confusing consumers, therefore, the One Health Certified™ logo cannot be used with most other voluntary production label claims and logos such as Cage Free, Gluten Free, or No Antibiotics Ever. One exception allowed for dual-label use is that the One Health Certified™ logo can be used in tandem with the Humane Certified label because it is one of the approved means of establishing credible animal welfare for One Health Certified™.
Producers must pay an annual participation fee to support the program. Pricing will be established in a way that is logical for each specific species. In the case of chicken and turkey, a company pays a flat fee of $7,500 per year for each poultry harvest plant that has been verified in compliance with the established standards. This fee permits unlimited use of the One Health Certified™ logo on eligible products produced in that facility. The pricing structure for other animals has not yet been determined.
One Health Certified™ is managed by the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE) based at Iowa State University. NIAMRRE is a cross-sector member organization that utilizes a One Health approach to provide local, national, and international leadership in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Program standards are governed by a council of technical experts from multiple stakeholders with equal representation from animal agriculture, non-profit organizations and universities. Lastly, because food security is an important goal of One Health Certified™, alignment and certification of animal production practices with program guidelines will be accomplished in sustainable ways.