Vital Farms Restorative Organic Eggs

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersAustin, TX
Websitehttps://vitalfarms.com/restorative
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1165

Vital Farms Restorative pasture-raised eggs are produced using regenerative agriculture principles.  Regenerative agriculture helps create balanced environments between pastures and animals that aims to increase the land’s resiliency and improve the health of waterways.

Vital Farms collaborated with regenerative thought leader Understanding Ag for over a year to transition four initial farms to a core set of tenets that promote rich, nutrient-dense soil. As pioneers of pasture-raised farming, Vital Farms already follows incredibly high standards, and these tenets take those existing standards to the next level for this new offering.  Vital Farms is working with Regen Ag Lab to track key measurements like biodiversity and water retention every quarter on the initial farms. Those measurements are being used to determine year-over-year soil health improvements which will be reported annually. Additional progress highlights are updated on the Vital Farms website.  

Vital Farms tries to be as transparent as possible about how every product gets to the table. Regenerative farming is a growing and evolving practice that the brand is learning alongside the farms and farmers it works with. Vital Farms is committed to raising farm standards by exploring emerging practices and creating scalable solutions for them. Currently, we’re pursuing a third-party regenerative certification for the Restorative carton and, in the coming years, aim to scale regenerative practices throughout our network of over 300 family farms.  

Twenty-five percent of the home-compostable, green-hued Restorative carton is made from natural grasses like ryegrass fibers, a cover crop sourced from nature reserves. Joining Vital Farms’ existing portfolio of pasture-raised eggs, Restorative eggs are exclusively available at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. 

CriteriaPointsComments
TOTAL (possible score is 1700) 1165
4-egg
Brands that have close daily control over their egg production receive the most points.
Ownership Structure
75Multiple farms supply this brand, contract production with close relationship
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
75Brand markets primarily conventional “pastured” eggs, suppliers do not have “split production” on property
Additional certifications, depending on the credibility of the label, can demonstrate a commitment beyond the organic standards.
Other Labels and Standards
60Certified Humane (Pastured)
Smaller flock sizes (the number of laying hens per housing structure) offer better animal welfare conditions.
Flock Size(s)
50Flocks of 20,000 birds or less
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; many use aviary barns; brand standards for exits to rotated pasture (around barns)
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
100108.9 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 rotated; brand standard is to maintain 50% vegetation, often 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
2522 weeks
Year-round access to perches, scratching areas, deep litter, novel foodstuffs, and dust bathing contribute to quality of life.
Enrichments
100Enrichments provided indoors and outdoors; hay is provided in high traffic areas
Chickens use their beaks to interact with the world. Authentic organic farmers account for this behavior, eschewing beak trimming.
Alterations
70Hens are beak trimmed at hatcheries; 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
50This brand dictates where/how their egg suppliers source their birds
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
65Death rate below 10%; spent hens are sold live, used for food or composted
Brands that closely monitor and manage health of soil, native species, and water quality receive the most points.
Environmental Impacts
100Restorative eggs require soil sampling & the implementation of specific regenerative practices, plant cover crops, and develop a custom regenerative farm plan with a soil consultant
Feed Sourcing50Obtains feed from organic suppliers that distribute locally
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
80Good 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.
Transparency
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?
Gluten free but not 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
10Provided information about Vital Farm's conventional lines