The American Grassfed Association created a new standard and certification for grass-fed dairy producers, which will make labeling more transparent. Today, there’s a wide variety dairy products, differing labels, and little government oversight in the industry. The upshot? It’s difficult for customers to know exactly what they’re getting when shopping grass-fed.
Cows are grass-fed, grain finished or fed both grass and grain and appear alongside meats that are truly 100% grass fed, grass finished with little differentiation. This presents a problem where customers are misinformed and unable to differentiate between products to make an educated health decision. The AGA’s current grass-fed certification program has been offered nationwide for the past 7-8 years, but there’s been an increased need for a more comprehensive and clear standard, which is what will be debuted next month, February 2017, at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
What will the new standard address?
-Forage: what grass-fed cows can and cannot eat
-Rules for grazing
-Rules for confinement
-Animal health and welfare requirements that work in tandem with a veterinarian
-Access to pasture, pasture management and grazing plan that supports biological diversity, natural resources, and soil fertility
The new label will soon pop up on dairy products and the AGA hopes to begin to build more integrity in an industry that has been offering 'options' without explanation or regulation. Furthermore, we will be looking at retailers such as Whole Foods to step up and only sell the well-regulated AGA-approved grassfed seal.