HERNDON, Va., May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), the leading international nonprofit certification program improving the lives of millions of farm animals in food production, announced this week that Ecoterra in Santiago, Chile, has become the first farm in Chile to achieve Certified Humane® certification.
Ecoterra free-range eggs launched in 2011 with the goal of changing industrialized agricultural systems in Chile to systems more in harmony with animals and the environment and local communities.
"When I saw the Certified Humane label on products in Brazil, Canada and the U.S. and learned about it, I knew the certification would verify the animal welfare work that we do," says Pablo Andres Albarrán Lama, Founder and President of Ecoterra. "We raise free-range hens as close to nature as possible. De esta manera, las aves tienen la libertad de desplazarse por todo el terreno sin impedimentos, escarbar, aletear, darse baños de arena, elegir sus propios nidos, dormir y descansar en perchas en altura también elegidas por ellas. Our laying hens are on pasture all day where they can dig, flap their wings, dustbathe, sleep, perch, and rest. Their vegetable diet is supplemented with insects that they find in our broad meadow plants."
Ecoterra eggs can be found in more than 500 grocery stores in Chile, including Wal-Mart, as well as restaurants, hotels and via e-commerce. Under their additional fair trade certification, they also work in alliance with small farms that produce eggs under the same Ecoterra system and same Certified Humane standards to help local farmers make a more sustainable living.
"Something a small farmer could not do on their own," says Albarrán. "We're helping them become entrepreneurs who can become sustainable environmentally and economically, and we're helping them implement animal welfare standards on their farms as well."
The Certified Humane® label, available now in 5 countries -- U.S., Canada, Brazil, Peru, Chile – assures consumers that farm animals, like laying hens, are raised according to a set of humane standards that guarantees they can live cage-free lives and express natural behaviors, such as flapping wings and moving around freely. They must also be raised without antibiotics and animal by-products in their food.
According to Luiz Mazzon, Director-General for Certified Humane's South America region, "When Humane Farm Animal Care launched in 2003, we never dreamed it would grow so quickly. But over these past few years, there's been a huge consumer demand in the U.S. and Canada for humanely-raised food. We're seeing that now with consumers in South America. Farmers are responding by adopting humane farming practices and bringing more Certified Humane® raised foods into our marketplace."
Consumers can download the Certified Humane® app, which is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, to find nearby stores that sell Certified Humane® products. For more information on HFAC and the Certified Humane® label, visit www.certifiedhumane.org.
About Humane Farm Animal Care
Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is the leading international non-profit certification organization improving the lives of farm animals in food production. The Certified Humane® designation assures consumers that meat, poultry, egg, or dairy products they purchase have been produced according to HFAC's precise standards for humane farm animal treatment. Animals must receive a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones and must be raised with shelter, resting areas and space sufficient to support natural behavior. Since the HFAC program was unveiled in May 2003, more than 140 companies, representing thousands of farms and 103 million farm animals, have been certified through the program, which now operates in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Peru, and Chile. To learn more about HFAC, visit www.certifiedhumane.org.
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SOURCE Humane Farm Animal Care