This week, Whole Foods Market launched its first-ever national brand campaign, “Values Matter,” spotlighting its standards across the store, including its industry-leading animal welfare ratings

Did you know that all of the chicken, beef, pork and turkey that Whole Foods Market sells in its meat cases comes from farms that have achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program? That means ranchers and farmers must meet, at minimum, 100 species-specific standards that promote farm animal welfare, including no cages, no crates, no crowding, no antibiotics, no added hormones* and no animal by-product in feed – ever. And that’s all just to meet Step 1. Each successive Step requires more animal-centered practices.

o Step 1: No cages, no crates, no crowding.
o Step 2: Enriched environment (things to do!)
o Step 3: Enhanced outdoor access
o Step 4: Pasture centered (based on an outdoor system)
o Step 5: Animal centered; no physical alterations
o Step 5+: Animal centered; entire life on the same farm

And, shoppers can know exactly how the animal was raised for the meat they are buying just by looking for the color-coded step rating on the product label. As of Oct. 1, 2014, the 5-Step program includes 2,451 farms and ranches that range from Step 1 to Step 5+ and raise more than 147 million animals annually.

From animal welfare to local farming, Whole Foods Market also invites consumers to take a brief survey called “What Do You Value?” to share what matters most to them.

For more information on the campaign and additional content on what makes Whole Foods Market different, visit:

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork and poultry.