Food Alliance works at the juncture of science, business and values to define and promote sustainability in agriculture and the food industry, and to ensure safe and fair working conditions, humane treatment of animals, and careful stewardship of ecosystems.
Food Alliance started as a project of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and was incorporated as an independent non-profit organization in 1997. Food Alliance enjoys support from leaders in both organic and conventional agriculture, from retail and wholesale food businesses, government agencies, and organizations representing farm labor, animal welfare, and the environment.
Food Alliance Certification
Food Alliance operates a voluntary certification program based on standards that define sustainable agricultural practices. Farms, ranches and food handlers that meet Food Alliance’s standards, as determined by a third-party site inspection, use Food Alliance certification to differentiate their products, strengthen their brands, and support credible claims for social and environmental responsibility.
Food Alliance launched its certification program in 1998 with a single apple grower selling in three Portland grocery stores. In the years since, we have certified over 500 farms and ranches in Canada, Mexico, and 25 U.S. states that manage a total of over 6.8 million acres of range and farmland. The majority are mid-sized or smaller family owned and operated businesses. Food Alliance has also certified over 35 food processing and distribution facilities.
Businesses participating in Food Alliance’s program report a wide variety of benefits from certification, including positive customer feedback, increased customer loyalty, sales increases, new markets, access to contracts, and, in some cases, price premiums.
Food Alliance has also documented improved practices on participating farms and ranches leading to better conditions for thousands of workers, more humane treatment of hundreds of thousands of animals, and reduced pesticide use, healthier soils, cleaner water, and enhanced wildlife habitat on millions of acres of range and farmland.