These Came First (Natural Grocers)

Farm/Brand HeadquartersLakewood, CO
Market AreaWestern US
Total Score1240

While a store brand, Natural Grocers is one of a the few store brands that was fully transparent with Cornucopia’s investigators. Their eggs are supplied by a trusted brand who was also fully transparent with Cornucopia.

TOTAL (possible score is 1700) 1240
Brands that have close daily control over their egg production receive the most points.
Ownership Structure
75Multiple farms supply this brand, which is family owned and operated
Brands that only produce organic products make the biggest investments — in time and money — in systems that benefit us all. Eggs sourced from a single operation receive the most points. Eggs of unclear origins and/or with poor oversight receives the fewest points.
Commitment to Organic Label
90Natural Grocers only markets organic eggs, but supplier produces both organic & conventional eggs (without split production on the same property)
Additional certifications, depending on the credibility of the label, can demonstrate a commitment beyond the organic standards.
Other Labels and Standards
60American Humane Certified (AHC); Non-GMO Project Verified, CA SEFS Compliant, Certified by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) (pasture raised), United Egg Producers(UEP), Whole Foods Market verified
Smaller flock sizes (the number of laying hens per housing structure) offer better animal welfare conditions.
Flock Size(s)
45The majority of suppliers have flock sizes less than 20k birds, with a small number of farms with over 20k birds
The best housing offers space for natural behaviors and legitimate access to the outdoors through adequate exits.
Hen Housing and Exit Areas
60Fixed housing barns; a small number of suppliers use aviary barns; large number of popholes that are big enough to encourage hens exiting (both sides of barn)
Adequate indoor spacing reduces stress and disease. With less crowding, birds can stretch their wings and more easily perform other natural behaviors.
Indoor Spacing
201.2 square feet allotted per hen
High scoring brands provide enough space to allow each hen to fully utilize their outdoor area, and to perform instinctive behaviors without harming the environment.
Outdoor Spacing
100108 square feet brand standard per hen (total over lifetime as layer)
High quality outdoor access includes vegetation, soil, and ample opportunities to forage year-round.
Quality of Outdoor Access
75Outdoor area is not rotated; brand standard is to maintain 90% vegetation, including shrubs and trees
Birds that are introduced to the outdoors early are more accustomed to spending time outdoors without fear or stress.
Outdoor Access Timing
60Typical age is 18 weeks
Year-round access to perches, scratching areas, deep litter, novel foodstuffs, and dust bathing contribute to quality of life.
90Enrichments provided indoors and outdoors
Chickens use their beaks to interact with the world. Authentic organic farmers account for this behavior, eschewing beak trimming.
70Hens are beak-tipped; induced molting is not allowed
Raising chicks on farm or buying them from certified organic hatcheries shows dedication to organic production from start to finish.
Chicks and Pullets
75Brand supplies organic pullets to it's contractors, which are organic prior to the second day of life
Brands that have low rates of deaths and utilize their spent hens for human consumption or similar score the highest.
Deaths, Culls, and Spent Hens
90Death rate below 5%; spent hens are sold live for food
Brands that closely monitor and manage health of soil, native species, and water quality receive the most points.
Environmental Impacts
75Brand standard to adhere to pasture management standards (trimming weeds, maintaining a stable height of vegetation, avoiding overgrazing, no tillage in the pasture area, no synthetic applications); manure is sold or composted
Feed Sourcing75Own feed mill with locally sources feed; purity of grain is determined at the mill before it is received
Brands that score well here go above and beyond to ensure the highest animal welfare, taking into consideration their hens’ safety and cleanliness, natural behavior, and stress levels.
Animal Welfare
80Excellent animal welfare benchmark
Cornucopia believes you have a right to transparency. Top brands share information with Cornucopia via a survey and cooperate with our own independent investigations.
100Full and open transparency
Brands do not receive points, but this information is offered for people with soy and/or gluten allergies.
Soy free and/or gluten free?
Layers are fed gluten and soy, but this brand does carry other eggs that are soy-free
Brands do not receive points, but are invited to submit the name of their Accredited Organic Certifier (suppliers may have different certifiers).
Organic Certifier (non-scoring)
QCS (Quality Certification Services) and OnMark Certification Services
Extra credit is offered for various practices that go above-and-beyond in some form.
Extra Credit