UEP Certified third party audits verify program compliance

July 23, 2021

UEP Certified third party audits verify program compliance

UEP Certified egg producers are committed to providing excellent care for their hens at all times, in all types of housing. The UEP Certified Program is administered by Dr. Larry Sadler, UEP’s VP of Animal Welfare. Dr. Sadler works closely with personnel at the UEP Certified farms to ensure they understand and implement the criteria necessary to maintain certification.

Stringent audit protocols assure program compliance and the integrity of the UEP Certified Program:

  • All participating egg producers are audited annually by trained independent, “third-party”, auditors.
  • Auditors are accredited by the and receive specific training on the UEP Certified guidelines.
  • A minimum of 25% of the egg producer’s layer houses are audited annually. These houses are randomly chosen, and the farm is only given 7 days’ notice before an audit. Random selection and limited notice ensure UEP Certified Guidelines are followed year-round.
Audit scoring

Two audit standards exist, conventional-cage and cage-free. A well-defined point scoring system assures consistent evaluations for all farms certified. A passing score of 90% is required. Upon completion of a successful audit on all farms, the egg producers will be fully certified and UEP will issue an annual certificate, allowing the use of the UEP Certified or UEP Certified Cage-free logos. To maintain this certification, the farms must continue to meet all guidelines and pass future annual audits conducted by independent auditors.

A farm failing an audit will have 30 days for corrective actions followed by a re-audit. Failure to pass the re-audit will result in the activation of the UEP Certified Corrective Action Committee. The committee will review the audit results and determine the necessary corrective actions to remain or regain certification. To maintain certification the farm must meet the UEP Certified standards within a designated period of time.

Zero tolerance for willful acts of abuse

UEP will respond immediately to all allegations of animal abuse. In the event of an allegation, Dr. Sadler will lead a committee that reviews the allegations and an on-farm investigation may take place. The results will be used to determine further actions and can include the termination of the farms’ UEP Certified status, a third-party audit regardless of the timing of the previous audit, and immediate corrective actions.