Pop Quiz! What is Validus? If you said an independent certification company that ensures specific and transparent production practices, you’re correct. That also means you’ve probably been reading our blogs so let’s go for a bonus question. What do the Validus Certified certifications cover? They review animal welfare, environment, and worker care practices. Now, for the win, what type of activities occur during the review process? Interviews, testing, onsite assessments and audits is correct again. It’s obvious you paid close attention to our animal welfare feature.
Well done! Next up: the Environmental Review Program.
Your living conditions affect your health and wellbeing. Drink dirty water you might get sick.
Neglect building repairs and the stability of your home might be compromised. This also holds true for animals. Understanding where your food comes from includes the conditions of the livestock facility and production areas. The Validus Environmental Review Standards cover everything from air quality, dust control, erosion prevention, to water drainage. Inspections are completed at a specified frequency to ensure the facility has time to correct any issues post-audit and ensure continuous improvement. But, the requirements don’t stop there. Manure utilization and mortality management are also part of the certification process. Both of these include extensive sampling, testing, documentation, and require that proper removal processes be in place. Certification is awarded to farms that demonstrate compliance with the environmental criteria established, which includes:
- General Site Management and Conditions
- Livestock Living and Production Areas
- Outdoor Manure and Storm Water Storage
- Manure Use and Land Application
- Animal Mortality Management
- Waste Water Plans, Treatments and Controls
This program is based on the Good Environmental Livestock Production Practices (GELPPs), a set of standards verified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI reviews and certifies that the appropriate mix of industry, academia, and public were consulted in developing the Environmental Review Program standard.
Meeting the Standards
You want to buy with confidence knowing the claims on your food are true. Where Food Comes From and companies like Validus work to ensure farms and ranches can be as transparent as possible about their practices. The great part is the farmers and producers involved in our programs proactively want these certifications because they know the importance of telling their story in an authentic way. Remember when we talked about the Emmy of the food world? Well, McCarty Family Farms, LLC was the first dairy facility in the U.S. to earn the Validus Certified Responsible Producer certification, now known as Validus CARE. This means they met all of the Validus certification criteria, including environmental review, animal welfare review, and worker care. We support farms like McCarty who are willing to tell their story and change the way we all collectively view how our food is produced, and most importantly, where it comes from. To learn more about the verification programs, check out Where Food Comes From and Validus Certification.