These eight principles inform Food Alliance’s definition of sustainability and our certification programs:

Support safe and fair working conditions

Farm and food industry workers have secure and rewarding jobs that provide a sound livelihood. Employers respect workers’ rights, are committed to their well-being, make safety a priority, maintain a professional workplace, and provide opportunities for training and advancement.

Ensure healthy, humane animal treatment with no growth hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics

Animals are treated with care and respect. Living conditions provide access to natural light, fresh air, fresh water, and a healthy diet, shelter from extremes of temperature, and adequate space to engage in natural behaviors and have social contact with other animals. Managers minimize animal fear and stress during handling, transportation and slaughter.

Protect, enhance, and conserve soil resources, water resources, and biodiversity

Farm and ranch managers improve soil health, protect water quality and supply, and support healthy native plant and animal communities.

Reduce risks associated with pesticides and other toxic or hazardous materials

Managers avoid use of chemicals that have adverse impacts on human and ecosystem health, and take steps to ameliorate known risks, implementing a bio-intensive system of Integrated Pest Management. Materials used for pest control, sanitation, waste treatment, and infrastructural maintenance are chosen to reduce overall negative consequences.

Conserve energy, reduce and recycle waste

Waste streams from food production are minimized while reuse, recycling, and composting of resources is maximized. Businesses invest in innovation and improvement to ensure efficient use and management of natural resources for energy and packaging, transport, and daily operations.

Guarantee product integrity, no genetically engineered or artificial ingredients

Foods are not produced using synthetic preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or products derived from livestock treated with sub-therapeutic antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones.

Maintain transparency and the “chain of custody”

Throughout the entire supply chain, food is produced and handled in accordance with these Principle Values. Transparency is maintained through application of clear standards, verification through third-party audits, and clear labeling and recordkeeping.

Continually improve practices

Food businesses are committed to continually improving management practices. Improvement goals are integrated into company culture, regularly monitored, and acknowledged when achieved. Food buyers are proactively engaged in the food system, and support companies that are transparent about their improvement goals and progress.