Our Pork Program Makes a Difference

Raising hogs to higher standards is about what we do...and don't do.


  • Antibiotics of any kind, from birth
  • Ractopamine (Paylean®), beta antagonists or any other growth-promoting drugs, from birth*
  • Gestation crates
  • Farrowing crates

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones and steroids in pork, but we go further and don’t use growth-promoting drugs of any kind.


  • Independent family farms
  • All-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products*
  • Pork Quality Assurance® certified farmers
  • American Humane Association certification
  • Natural behaviors

*Except for milk protein for piglets.


In a lot of hog production, pregnant and nursing sows are confined to crates so narrow that they can’t turn around. We said “no” to crates and have 100% eliminated gestation and farrowing crates.

Our sows interact with other pigs (hogs are social animals, after all) and can exhibit normal behaviors, including exploring their natural curiosity. To protect newborn piglets, we use specially designed pens that provide the mother with room to comfortably move about, while keeping the baby pigs safe and warm for the first few days of their life.  

**Certified by American Humane Certified – humaneheartland.org. Not restrained in gestation or farrowing crates.

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The Pork Quality Assurance program ensures that every farmer raising hogs for Coleman is trained in proven Good Production Practices for animal well-being, food safety, environmental protection and farm worker safety. Farmer certification is followed by on-farm site assessments from certified third-party advisers.

American Humane CertifiedTM

With animal care practices above what is typical for pork production in the United States, Coleman Natural is only the fourth U.S. pork producer to become American Humane CertifiedTM. By incorporating welfare goals outlined in the globally recognized Five Freedoms, American Humane Association certification ensures that our pigs have the opportunity to express normal social behaviors and engage their curiosity through enriched housing.

In addition, the American Humane Association certification provides the further assurance of third-party auditing of every phase of our pork production. That includes raising, transportation and harvesting.

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Food & Water

A lot more goes into keeping our hogs healthy and content than just food and water.

  • Before a farm can raise hogs for us, we check things out to make sure there’s enough feeder and water space, so hogs don’t have to compete for food and water.
  • Farmers work with animal nutritionists to make sure diets meet the nutritional needs of our hogs at every step in their growth. And, of course, that diet never has antibiotics, growth-promoting drugs* or animal by-products.
  • Our farmers visit the hogs every day to check on waterers and feeders—our hogs never go thirsty or hungry.

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones and steroids in pork, but we go further and don’t use growth-promoting drugs of any kind.

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Keeping our hogs comfortable is just the beginning. Our farmers provide an environment designed to protect the hogs from discomfort, fear and distress while encouraging normal behaviors and social interactions. Hogs should be hogs, after all.

  • We don’t allow gestation or farrowing crates.
  • To protect newborn piglets for the first few days of their life, we use specially designed pens that provide the mother with room to comfortably move about, while keeping the baby pigs safe and warm.
  • Our farmers use outdoor lots with shelters, hoop barns, open-air barns or indoor group housing. No matter what type of production, hogs are kept comfortable to minimize stress. Sprinklers, misters or wallows keep them cool in summer; heat and/or deep bedding keep them warm in winter.
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It takes more than policies to raise hogs to higher standards; it takes people. We know our farmers, and our farmers know our hogs—and how we want them raised.

  • We have a team, including veterinarians, who work with the farmers who raise our hogs and who ensure our animal care standards are followed at every step.
  • The farmers raising hogs for us do so because they share our commitment to raising hogs the Coleman Natural way. They’re all Pork Quality Assurance certified and meet the high standards of American Humane Certified.
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The first step to happy hogs is healthy hogs. Every aspect of how our hogs are raised is designed to keep them healthy.

  • As part of the Pork Quality Assurance program, our farmers maintain a close relationship with a veterinarian. This fosters continuous conversations between the farmer and veterinarian to keep vaccination protocols and herd health plans up to date and to provide timely and appropriate treatments when needed.
  • All farms must have a biosecurity plan in place to protect hogs from illness.
  • Raising healthy hogs without relying on antibiotics requires higher standards and more attention to the details.
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Care for our hogs doesn’t stop at the farm. We use transportation systems designed to keep hogs comfortable and minimize stress. We keep transport times to a minimum.

  • Transportation team members must be Transport Quality Assurance® certified, which assures they have been properly trained in how to handle our hogs.
  • We conduct routine audits to make sure hogs have enough space in the trailers, adequate bedding and protection from the weather.
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American Humane Association certification extends to the plant.

  • Systems must be designed to minimize stress and prevent injury, anyone working with live animals must be properly trained, and there are strict protocols to ensure proper handling and treatment.
  • Stunning ensures that animals are insensitive to pain before processing. At our harvest plant, we use controlled-atmosphere stunning with carbon dioxide.
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