California Proposition 12 Certification

Ensuring Compliance to California Animal Care Standards

What is California Proposition 12 Certification?

California’s Proposition 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, sets forth essential standards aimed at enhancing the welfare of farm animals in California. As of January 1, 2024, all producers of egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and/or veal calves, as well as distributors of covered products intended for sale in California, must possess a valid Proposition 12 Certificate of Compliance. The standard mandates specific housing conditions for the covered animals, emphasizing freedom of movement, cage-free design, and minimum floor space. 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Proposition 12 sets a benchmark for animal agriculture producers to prioritize the welfare and care of animals and ensures that California consumers have access to food sourced from farms adhering to these standards. The SCS Global Services Animal Welfare Team recognizes the importance of these values and offers Proposition 12 Certification services to producers and distributors who are committed to meeting these critical standards.

Why Choose SCS?

With over 40 years of experience in third-party certification, SCS is a trusted global leader in verifying regulatory, food safety and sustainability claims in the food and agriculture industry. Our dedicated Dairy and Animal Welfare Team comprises of technical experts with extensive experience in the agriculture sector. Our exceptional customer service ensures a seamless certification process that is efficient, reliable, and tailored to your specific needs. Maximize efficiency and cost savings by bundling your Proposition 12 certification with other certifications offered by SCS. Choose from a range of certification services including USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, Sustainably Grown, food safety certifications such GLOBALG.A.P., PrimusGFS, and SQF. Bundling your certifications allows you to streamline the certification process, saving time and resources while ensuring compliance with multiple standards.

  • Benefits
  • Certification Process
  • FAQ
  • Program Documents
  • Legal Compliance: Ensure compliance with Proposition 12 regulations and avoid penalties for non-compliance
  • Market Access: Certification allows businesses to continue selling covered products in the Californian market, demonstrating commitment to animal welfare
  • Consumer Confidence: Certification promotes transparency in animal agricultural practices and enhances consumer trust in your products, providing assurance that they are purchasing humanly raised meat and eggs
  • Stakeholder Recognition: Gain recognition from stakeholders, including retailers, advocacy groups and government agencies for your approach to animal welfare
  • Pre-Assessment

Upon receiving your application for Proposition 12 certification, our team conducts a preliminary assessment to determine if the producer and/or distributor appears to comply or may be able to comply with Prop 12 regulations. The application for certification can be found on the Program Documents tab.

  • On-Site Inspection:

Within three months of the pre-assessment, an on-site inspection is scheduled at your facility. Each production unit, facility, and site that produces or distributes covered animals or products that are included in the operation for which certification is requested will be inspected. The inspection involves a comprehensive assessment of the facility, covered animals, covered products, and records. 

All on-site inspections will be conducted when a representative of the operation is available and can access operation records and at a time when facilities and activities that demonstrate Prop 12 compliance or capability to comply can be observed.

  • Compliance Evaluation:

Following the on-site inspection, our certification team evaluates the findings to determine if the Prop 12 requirements are met. Any areas of non-compliance are identified, and corrective actions must be submitted within 30 days.

  • Certification Decision:

SCS conducts a final technical review of the inspection report and corrective actions documentation, then makes the final certification decision.

  • Annual Inspection:

To maintain certification, an on-site inspection is conducted once every 12 months following the initial inspection. 

What does the certification process involve?

The certification process includes an initial on-site inspection, followed by annual inspections thereafter, to ensure ongoing compliance with Prop 12 regulations.

How long does it take to obtain certification?

Once an operation’s application for certification is received and reviewed, an on-site inspection will be conducted within 3 months.

After completion of the initial on-site inspection, the on-site inspection report and any additional information requested from or supplied by the applicant will be reviewed. If it is determined that the confinement or distribution system and all procedures and activities of the applicant's operation are in compliance with Prop 12, SCS shall grant certification within two weeks after the on-site inspection.

If an applicant for certification is not in compliance with Prop 12 regulations, a written notification of noncompliance will be sent to the applicant. The applicant may correct noncompliance and submit a description of the corrective actions taken with supporting documentation to SCS within 30 days after receiving the written notification of noncompliance. After review of the corrective action(s) documentation, a certification decision will be made within one week.

Where can I find the inspection checklist for producers and distributors?

The inspection checklist can be found in the Program Documents tab.

File Name Document
California Proposition 12 Certification Application English
CDFA - AHFSS - Animal Care Program - Stakeholder Resources Visit Site
Prop 12 Breeding Pigs Inspection Checklist English
Prop 12 Egg Laying Hens Inspection Checklist English
Prop 12 Renewal Certification Application English
Prop 12 Veal Calves Inspection Checklist English

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Amanda Stone