Animal Welfare Standards

At UNFI we mean business when it comes to doing the right thing for our health and the environment. We believe everyone deserves access to healthy, ethical and sustainable food and we are committed to bringing this food to more tables across North America.

We are a distributor and bound to supply products demanded by our customers, and are required to ensure that there is adequate supply to meet consumer demand. Our customers expect high quality and ethical standards, which is why we have incorporated social responsibility into our business practices with initiatives that support the environment, community, food safety and animal welfare. Like our customers, we are concerned about the welfare of the animals used to produce the products we offer and recognize the necessity of healthy animals for food quality and safety.

For this reason UNFI stands behind the internationally accepted “Five Freedoms” for animals:

Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and food that maintains full health and vigor

Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area

Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment

Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal's own kind

Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that prevent mental suffering

We have identified the most pressing animal welfare issues and have established standards for our supply chain that meet or exceed those set forth by Global Animal Standards (GAP). We are working closely with our farmers, ranchers, suppliers and animal welfare experts to achieve ethical and humane practices.

As a result UNFI is requiring that its broiler chicken suppliers adhere to or exceed Global Animal Partnership (GAP) animal welfare guidelines by 2024.  Our guidelines will include providing cage-free and enhanced living spaces, transitioning strains of birds, multi-step controlled atmosphere processing and third party audits. Read our full commitment here.

In addition, UNFI is committed to sourcing a 100% cage-free egg supply by 2018. Read our full commitment here.

We care deeply about the welfare of all animals that nourish us and we will continue to hold our suppliers to high standards, raising the bar for ourselves and the industry as a whole.