FARM FORWARD DEVELOPED THE ANIMAL WELFARE AND MEAT REDUCTION STANDARDS FOR GFPP, AND SUPPORTS ITS IMPLEMENTATION AROUND THE COUNTRY, IMPACTING MORE THAN 450 MILLION MEALS AND $1.1B IN FOOD SPEND ANNUALLY.
What is the Good Food Purchasing Program?
GFPP is a comprehensive food policy developed by the Center for Good Food Purchasing that addresses five value categories:
- valued workforce,
- animal welfare,
- local economies,
- nutrition and health, and
- environmental sustainability.
GFPP uses metric-based standards to evaluate an institution’s baseline and its progress in each value category. Importantly, these standards are based on third-party certifications that have been identified as meaningful and ranked by national experts in each category.
GFPP is most commonly adopted by school districts and municipalities, with some jails and hospitals also participating. At present, the Center for Good Food Purchasing works with 60 institutions enrolled in GFPP and 11 local coalitions—representing hundreds of organizations—in 24 cities and counties across the country.
Drafting the GFPP Standards
Since GFPP’s inception in 2016, Farm Forward has led the creation of GFPP’s animal welfare and meat reduction standards. These standards undergo a regular review process that includes extensive stakeholder outreach and input, involving other animal protection groups, such as American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Compassion in World Farming, and farmers and ranchers.
As of December 2022, we are finalizing Version 3.0 of the animal welfare and meat reduction standards, to be formally announced in early 2023. Version 3.0 will eliminate some of the lower welfare certification standards that previously qualified. Version 3.0 also offers more options for meeting the standards through meat reduction, requiring that the amount of meat per meal is reduced over time.
Creating Local and State Policies
Farm Forward advocates for the adoption of GFPP policies across the country, working closely with local and regional coalitions of organizations. For example, Farm Forward staff located in San Francisco and San Diego led and worked in local coalitions of environmental groups, organized labor, and animal welfare advocates for years, and testified in support of GFPP in front of the City Council, School Board, and County Board of Supervisors.
Once an institution adopts GFPP and performs its baseline assessment, Farm Forward staff offer technical assistance to help the institution meet the animal welfare standards or to improve their animal welfare score. For example, we worked with San Francisco Unified School District and their foodservice provider to evaluate higher welfare chicken and cattle products, including local grass-finished beef. We worked with the Greek Theater in Los Angeles to expand its vegetarian menu and evaluate options for higher welfare cattle products, including launching a 100 percent grass-fed burger.
In the past six years, institutions enrolled in GFPP have increased their animal welfare purchases by 50 percent, sourcing from producers that provide higher welfare conditions for farmed animals. Institutions can also progress on the animal welfare metric by reducing meat consumption per meal; Farm Forward promotes behavioral science principles such as defaults and smart menuing to encourage meat reduction.
Supporting GFPP is one of the ways that Farm Forward works with food policy to change how the country eats and farms.