The non-profit Food Alliance is celebrating 20 years as the most comprehensive certification for sustainable agriculture and food handling in North America. Since its launch in 1997, Food Alliance has diversified by product category and geography. Criteria for livestock were introduced in 2000. Certification for food handlers, including packers, processors, and distributors, debuted in 2006. Programs followed for grassfed livestock claims (2009), farmed shellfish (2011), and nursery products (2012). Food Alliance certification has also spread from the Pacific Northwest to 25 U.S. states. An update to Food Alliance standards and criteria implemented in 2015 now allows certification anywhere in North America. In 2016, Food Alliance partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rainforest Alliance to develop a Grasslands Alliance standard for regenerative grazing in North America. That draft standard is posted for public review and comment at grasslandsalliance.org. Starting in 2017, Food Alliance will also be providing audits for the National Audubon Society's Conservation Ranching program for restoration and enhancement of habitat important to grassland birds.
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