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Building a more just food system

Leadership Circle

Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle leverages the buying power of universities, businesses, and restaurants to change how animals are raised for food.


To build a just and resilient future we must change how we raise animals for food. Because our current appetite for animal products is unsustainable we advocate for a “less and better” approach to dining, and members of the Leadership Circle are leading the way by creating demand for a more just and equitable food system while improving public health, the environment, and animal welfare.

What is the Leadership Circle?

In 2017, Farm Forward launched the Leadership Circle to support universities, businesses, and restaurants that adopt a “less meat, better meat” approach: sourcing higher welfare meat and eggs while incorporating more plant-based protein.

The Leadership Circle has been instrumental in building the demand and supply chains for higher welfare animal products and plant-based food, which will ultimately make such products more available and affordable for institutions and the general public. By developing a network of sustainable and higher welfare farmers and ranchers, and by driving consumer demand for their products and plant-based alternatives, the Leadership Circle is raising the bar, moving agriculture in a higher welfare, more sustainable direction.

Eight million animals are annually impacted by our institutional food sourcing, based on conservative estimates.

Members and Case Studies

The Leadership Circle recognizes institutions that commit to reduce meat and dairy consumption and source higher welfare animal products. These organizations mark the pathway to the future, aligning their food choices with their values for the sake of the climate, animal welfare, and human health. The Leadership’s Circle is sponsored by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, which makes it possible for Farm Forward to offer free consulting to help leading institutions develop more humane and sustainable welfare supply chains.

Leadership Circle Sponsors
Leadership Circle Partners

Latest News

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October 28, 2019

Harvest Table Culinary Group Recognized by Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle 

January 10, 2019

University of Kentucky Sources Higher Welfare Meat with New ‘Whole Animal Program’

March 27, 2019

Harvard Business School Joins Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle


To join the Leadership Circle, institutions must commit to

  1. transitioning one or more animal product category (poultry, eggs, beef, pork, or dairy) to 100 percent certified higher welfare products, and
  2. reducing the total volume of animal products they purchase by 20 percent within two years.

Circular logo with an illustrated chicken that reads "Leadership Circle Animal Welfare"

Track 1: Certified Higher Welfare

  • 100 percent certified higher welfare for at least one animal product
  • 20 percent reduction in animal products

Leadership Circle members commit to purchasing products from farmers and ranchers who raise animals in higher welfare operations that meet the highest standards set by certifiers.


Circular logo with illustrated lettuce that reads "Leadership Circle Plant Forward"

Track 2: Plant Forward

  • 20 percent reduction in animal products

Leadership Circle members commit to serve more plant-based products.