After working directly with farmers and ranchers, Where Food Comes From quickly discovered a disconnect between how producers and consumers viewed sustainability. The CARE program was developed to better define what it means to be sustainable.
How does Where Food Comes From Define Sustainability?
To Where Food Comes from, there are five key pillars that define sustainability.
- Transparency: Understanding all parts of the supply chain and knowing how your food was produced.
- Stewardship: A commitment to the local environment.
- Philanthropy: A desire to better the world.
- Husbandry: The intimate care of animals, plants and land.
- Integrity: Doing what’s right when no one is watching.
How does the CARE Certification Process Work?
There are three main components to the extensive CARE certification process.
- The Prep: Where Food Comes From works with each farmer or rancher to help them understand the requirements and standards of the CARE certification. In addition to building this understanding, they also work hand-in-hand with each producer to ensure that their documentation and records are in order for an on-site audit.
- The Audit: Where Food Comes From sends an auditor, who was independent of the prep process, to perform an on-site audit. This audit can last up to 8 hours and ensures that the critical ,core and advanced standards of the CARE program are upheld.
- The Score: Where Food Comes From processes the detailed notes from the audit and provides the farmer with a percentage score for each specific CARE standard. These are not one time scores, but rather an opportunity for everyone in the supply chain to work toward continued improvement.
Why CARE Certified?
The CARE certification program is completely voluntary, so the farmers and ranchers involved simply want to be the best at what they do. They’re willing to take extensive sustainable steps to be the best!
In addition to being the best, these farmers and ranchers also want to better communicate who they are and what they do to the people who consume their food. The CARE program provides all of these opportunities.