Pig farmers

In the third programme period, there will be a few changes in the marketing of AWI fattening pigs, as we are switching from fund-based to market-based financing. This means that pig farmers will now negotiate the necessary premiums for animal welfare-labelled fattening pigs bilaterally with their buyers. Click here to find out more about how the new scheme works and what you need to keep in mind when participating.

Conditions of participation

Pig farmers participating in the Animal Welfare Initiative comply with certain criteria to ensure better animal welfare. From the new programme period onwards, they will receive an animal welfare fee from the abattoirs (or marketing partners) they supply to compensate them for their additional expenditure. Click here to find out how precisely the system will work in the third programme period from 2021:

Would you like to participate in the Animal Welfare Initiative? Join NOW to get together with a coordinator. Make an agreement with an abattoir, a marketing organisation or livestock trader to ensure you are on the right track for phase 3!


Livestock farmers need to comply with a number of criteria if they wish to participate in the Animal Welfare Initiative. A novel element in the third programme period is that elective criteria have been abolished. As a result, there is now a clearly defined, concise catalogue of requirements, which ensures that the same high level of welfare is reached for all animals covered by the AWI. This step has become necessary with the introduction of the identity principle for pork products. After all, the seal of the Animal Welfare Initiative needs to stand for a clear and uniform statement on how livestock has been kept. By harmonising the criteria, we are able to ensure that products comply with identity requirements.

Criteria overview:


Every livestock business that is a member of the Animal Welfare Initiative will be audited twice per year and therefore undergo a total of six audits during the programme term instead of seven as was previously the case. Intensive controls will be retained, as the three stock audits to be conducted during the programme period will be conducted without any prior announcement.

Overview of all the audit system during the third programme period

  • Each farm will continue to be audited twice per year.
  • A total of six audits will be conducted during the programme term.
  • Three of the audits are stock audits; these will be conducted entirely unannounced.
  • The costs of the stock audits will be borne by the AWI, being the parent company.

Further information on the AWI audit system can be found here.