What Animal Welfare & 3rd Party Verification Means at ButcherBox

Last Updated on February 14, 2024

At ButcherBox, we consider ourselves more than just a meat and seafood company. We are on a mission to transform the meat industry by doing right by animals, the planet, farmers, workers and customers, one rigorous standard at a time. In 2020, this unwavering passion for believing in better led us to become a Certified B Corporation™—a milestone that encapsulates our commitment to being a force for good in the food industry. In the spirit of relentless improvement, we’re celebrating another significant milestone that supports our mission: ButcherBox is the only B-Corp Certified meat and seafood company to source only from partners with meaningful third-party animal welfare certification. This achievement showcases our steadfast dedication to raising the bar and setting the standard for animal welfare as an industry leader.  

“I fundamentally believe that meat in this country is broken. And what I set out to do was build a company where we could honor the natural rhythms of the animal, allow them to graze on grass, be outdoors, and eat feed that’s in accordance with what their body is designed for,” said Mike Salguero, founder and CEO of ButcherBox. “And for nearly a decade, that’s what we’ve been doing – building the supply chain, a product offering, and the market for this type of product. I believe we can be the solution for transforming the industry, even more today than I did when we started back in 2015. This milestone is just one step further in our dedication to transforming the meat industry and giving consumers another reason to trust that we’ve done the work to ensure the meat and seafood that arrives in their box is exactly what we say it is – high quality and humanely raised.” 


What Are Third-Party Animal Welfare Certifications? 

A third-party animal welfare certification is a thorough audit conducted by an independent organization that has no affiliation with the farm, ranch, or producer. An impartial third-party audit ensures an objective assessment and validation that our sourcing partners’ practices meet the specific animal welfare standards.


Our Third-Party Animal Welfare Certifications by Protein  

Below, we’ve highlighted the certifications our proteins carry. As we expand our protein offerings for our customers, we will continue to evaluate additional third-party certifications that meet our sourcing standards and align with our values.


G.A.P. Certified: Turkey and Chicken  

The Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) operates on a tiered 5+ Step Animal Welfare Rating Program. Each step has specific requirements, per animal, that need to be met by the farmer/producer before a G.A.P. certification is achieved. A base certification means the producer has met over 100+ animal welfare standards, including more space to express their natural behaviors and a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products. The higher the “step” achieved, the more the animals’ living conditions mimic their natural environment. 


G.A.P. Certified and Certified Humane: Beef, Pork and Bison 

All ButcherBox beef, pork and bison are certified to either G.A.P. or Certified Humane program standards and meet the precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment, per animal/protein, from the Certified Humane Animal Care Standards and/or Global Animal Partnership. In contrast to common pork industry practice, pigs certified by Certified Humane or G.A.P. are never confined to gestation or farrowing crates. Animals have space to express their natural behaviors and have access to wholesome, nutritious feed, are free of antibiotics or growth hormones, and are given skilled, knowledgeable, and conscientious animal care.


MSC and RFM Certified: All seafood  

Our seafood is wild-caught from Bristol Bay, Alaska, the Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, the North Atlantic, the Bering Sea, Canadian waters, and the Gulf of Mexico. Every fish is sustainably harvested to protect the long-term overall health of species populations and ecosystems. Our sourcing partners uphold strict fishing and handling practices that meet the standards of the Marine Steward Council (MSC) or the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) to guarantee unprecedented quality and sustainability.  


What Do Third-Party Animal Welfare Certifications Mean for Customers? 

It’s no secret that the food industry is overcrowded with confusing or sometimes even false claims. In a world where “humane washing” is becoming more and more common, a third-party animal welfare certification is a credible and easy way to identify a trustworthy product—providing customers with peace of mind and taking the legwork out of the search for humanely raised, high-quality meat and seafood.   

“Third party certifications are one of the most important ways for consumers to know that when a company, like ButcherBox, says they are doing something, that they actually are,” noted Salguero. “The number of labels and marketing jargon used on products – across many different categories – can make shopping confusing for consumers. But, when a third-party organization issues those labels, it helps consumers identify what really matters to them.”  


ButcherBox and the ASPCA®’s Shop With Your Heart® Program 

Our commitment and dedication to animal welfare throughout the years has been recognized by the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and led to ongoing collaboration and joint efforts to mitigate the mistreatment of animals in the meat industry through advocating for a more humane and sustainable food system. 

“A meaningful animal welfare certification is one of the most robust forms of assurance that a consumer concerned about farm animal welfare can get when they are weighing a product purchase,” said Nancy Roulston, senior director of corporate policy and animal scientist, ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare. “ButcherBox has shown a steadfast commitment to farm animal welfare and securing meaningful third-party animal welfare certifications recognized by the ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart® program is a significant and unique milestone. Not only is this something to celebrate across the industry, but a testament to their dedication to meeting their customers’ demand for higher-welfare products. ButcherBox’s chicken products have been a part of the Shop With Your Heart® Grocery List since 2019, and we’re happy to now feature other products, like their beef, bison, and pork as welfare-certified options for conscientious consumers.” 


One Step Closer to a Better Food System 

Our mission is no small feat. There will always be work to be done and room to improve—but this milestone is one step closer to our goal of transforming the meat industry. Every day, we will continue to strive for better. Better for the planet. Better for the farmers, workers and our customers. And better for the animals. We will continue to obsess over meat and seafood so you don’t have to, while working with our sourcing partners to support high animal welfare standards at every step, from farm to plate.  


Analisa is a Senior Copywriter at ButcherBox. She has ten years of experience creating compelling campaigns and crafting effective brand storytelling for various industries and organizations. She has never met a dog she didn't like and is a self-proclaimed burrito connoisseur.