The American Humane Association (AHA) and Farm Animal Services (FAS) today announced that Phil's Fresh Eggs of Forreston, IL, is the latest egg producer to qualify for the Free Farmed label. The label, unveiled this past fall, is the first-ever program to certify that farm animals are raised in a humane manner. A Free Farmed label will assure consumers that the egg products they purchase from Phil's Fresh Eggs come from animals that were treated according to animal welfare standards developed by AHA.

``We are very pleased to certify that Phil's Fresh Eggs qualifies for the Free Farmed label,'' said Adele Douglass, Executive Director of FAS, which administers and monitors the Free Farmed program. ``The more producers that carry this label, the more we can raise awareness of farm animal treatment. For 40 years, Phil's Fresh Eggs has been showing the way towards a more humane farming environment for egg-producing hens. The 'Free Farmed' label on Phil's Fresh Eggs cartons will emphasize this proud history to consumers.''

``Additional to our proven flavor advantage, this certification will also assure egg lovers of our unique animal-friendly methods,'' said Rod Wubbena, Vice-President and General Manager of Phil's Fresh Eggs. ``With marketing claims in the egg industry as numerous and hard to validate as they are, we believe FAS monitoring will offer improved credibility for cage-free egg brands vying for consumer trust. Cartons bearing the Free Farmed symbol should start appearing on dairy shelves across the Midwest by mid-December.''

The American Humane Association launched the Free Farmed program in September. The certification program is administered by Farm Animal Services, a nonprofit organization created by AHA. FAS oversees the inspection, certification, and compliance of producers and other businesses that have applied for the Free Farmed label. The United States Department of Agriculture verifies FAS's inspection process.

The label is awarded based on animal welfare standards developed by the AHA Scientific Committee. The standards outline the housing, and environmental conditions for the animals, and also contain education standards for farm management and staff. The AHA Scientific Committee includes experts in the animal care, veterinary, animal behavior and animal welfare fields with experience in ethical and humane treatment of animals. Currently, standards are in place for egg-laying hens, broiler chickens, dairy and beef cattle. For more information on the Free Farmed program, log on to

Phil's Fresh Eggs is the one of the Midwest's largest cage-free egg farm and is now the largest cage-free producer qualifying for the Free Farmed label. Phil's Fresh Eggs believes in practicing consistent and humane animal care and provides a special and unique hen environment. Football field-sized buildings are home to communities of laying hens that have access to separate roost, scratch feed, water and nesting areas. Phil's Fresh Eggs are available in Chicago area stores, including Dominick's Finer Foods, Whole Foods Markets, Treasure Island Stores and Oberweis Dairy. The brand is also available at Eagle Country Markets, Hilander-Kroger and Logli-Snuck's Markets, as well as through health food distributors such as Blooming Prairie Cooperative (Iowa City, IA), Tree of Life/Gourmet Award Foods (Bloomington, IN) and North Farm Cooperative (Madison, WI).

For over 123 years, the American Humane Association has worked to protect children and animals from violence, abuse and neglect. With headquarters in Colorado, AHA is also a voice for children and animals in Washington, DC (home to Farm Animal Services) and oversees the use of animals in movies and television through its Los Angeles, CA, office. For more information on AHA, log on to