Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute, has announced several major changes and initiatives for its Animal Welfare Approved program. The program and food label is a free program for farmers who meet its standards to promote the animal well-being and the "sustainability of humane family farms." The program is designed to unite consumers with farmers.

Among the other developments, Andrew Gunther has joined the Animal Welfare Approved program as program director. Previously, he was Whole Foods Market's senior global animal compassionate product procurement and development specialist. He lead the team that designed and launched Whole Foods' five-step welfare program in the United Kingdom. He has been involved with organic production in the United Kingdom, and has served as a significant organic voice within the UK. He is currently part of the Texas State Board of Agriculture's organic advisory board and a member of the American Association of Agricultural scientists.           

“His vast experience with farming, marketing humanely produced products and successfully developing and managing a standards-based program will make a huge difference in our ability to help farmers bring their humanely raised products to market," says Liss.

"I find myself in a unique position that allows me to combine my passions: animal welfare, farmers rights, high-quality, safe food and environmental sustainability," says Gunther.

Animal Welfare Approved program also launched a new Web site at, including a searchable database to find products, learn about the standards themselves, and a wealth of information about food labels, animal welfare and farms for consumers, farmers and the press.

Web development was provided by a team at GRACE (, who also host the Eat Well Guide (, Sustainable Table (, Factory Farm (, and Network for New Energy Choices (, among other sites.

New features will be added to the site regularly in the upcoming months. For more information contact, visit, or call (703) 836-4300.

Source: Animal Welfare Institute