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Kunoa Is Proudly “Animal Welfare Approved”

June 25, 2019

Since we started Kunoa in 2014, we have been committed to raising Hawaii cattle on pastures using methods that support healthier lands, animals and communities. To lend support to our practices, we set a goal of earning the Animal Welfare Approved certification from A Greener World, which is considered one of the nation’s top independent, nonprofit farm verification programs.

We’re proud to report that we received the certification recently for our Kauai ranch and Oahu harvest and processing facility. You will start seeing the AWA seal on some of our products soon.

The Certified Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) label guarantees that our animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives using sustainable, high-welfare farming practices. Kunoa meets audited, high-quality production, transport, and slaughter standards developed by leading scientists, veterinarians, researchers, and farmers across the globe.

To meet these standards, we have invested more than $650,000 in facility upgrades, including new animal receiving and holding areas and a hydraulic animal chute with design features developed by animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin. AGW’s auditors will visit our facilities at least once a year to verify that we’re meeting the organization’s standards. You can dig into the details of the requirements here.

We sought to earn this particular certification, in part, for the acclaim it has received by outside sources. Consumer Reports, for instance, has evaluated the top meat labeling programs and concluded that AWA “is a highly meaningful label, backed by standards that are strong and comprehensive in addressing animal welfare for farm animals.” The Animal Welfare Approved label is recommended by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®). And in a 2017 New York Times article, Jean Halloran, the director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, was quoted as saying, “The only one we have any confidence in and think gives you value for your money is Animal Welfare Approved. The rest of them have, to greater and lesser degrees, shortcomings…”

We want our customers to be able to buy our products with confidence, so we will be seeking other industry-leading certifications that will help communicate our values and practices. We are also working closely with our nearly 50 partner ranchers in Hawaii to help them become Certified Animal Welfare Approved. Kunoa was also recently recognized by the ASPCA for its AGW certification and ongoing commitment to animal welfare.

By the end of 2021, our goal is to have all Kunoa-branded fresh beef products sourced from ranches and farms that have earned at least one of the following certifications: Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World; Step 2 or greater by the Global Animal Partnership; or Certified Humane Raised & Handled by Humane Farm Animal Care, a Virginia-based nonprofit certification organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production.

To learn more about our practices and standard of care, visit our Animal Health & Well-Being page.