All of our pork is third-party certified by Global Animal Partnership’s Step Level® program (Step 1 or higher) or Certified Humane® Farm Animal Care. Here are the highlights:
- No crates. Ever. Applegate farmers use an open-pen system that allows for free movement. In other hog systems, sows (mother hogs) are kept in gestation crates that don’t allow them to turn around, and then the sows are confined in farrowing crates to nurse piglets. Pregnant sows have 32 square feet of space or more by Applegate standards compared to 14 square feet in other systems. That’s more than twice as much space. Organic pigs have outdoor access.
- No tail docking or teeth clipping. In many systems, piglets have their tails cut and teeth trimmed because overcrowded conditions and other factors can lead to pigs gnawing on each others’ tails. We make sure our pigs have enough space and the proper environment so that this practice is not necessary.
- On solid ground. On our farms, the flooring in barns is nearly all solid (at least 70 percent) and has bedding such as hay or straw. Why? Because fully slatted floors, which are the norm, can lead to discomfort and injury for the pigs. The straw also keeps the pigs occupied and satisfies their natural urge to seek and root.
- More time with mom. Piglets in hog farms that supply Applegate nurse with their mothers longer than in other systems. This extra time helps further the growth and development of the piglets, including their immune systems and eases the transition to the nursery and a new diet.
These videos show how Applegate Humanely Raised works at one of our hog suppliers.