The information that I primarily based the certification & label tables can be found from The Humane Society.
I feel compelled to point out that American Humane Association does have standards that apply when hens live in a cage-free or even free-range environment. However, they have a certification that applies to caged hens- and therefore “American Humane Certified” does not mean that hens have basic hen rights. Read more about their standards here.
Another related note- both the American Humane Certification and the Certified Humane certification do have standards for outdoor access, if outdoor access is granted- however, outdoor access is not required. Thus, they get a big red X for “Specified quality & duration of outdoor access” – because those certifications are no guarantee that the hens have outdoor access at all.
The Food Alliance does not require that the hens have outdoor access; however, it does require that they get natural light OR outdoor access. Better than nothing, but still an X for required outdoor access.
There are many things that these certifications do ensure beyond what I showed in the infographic. It seems like those organizations are trying to find a way to improve the living standards for the hens, but still making it possible for the producers to meet those standards. I don’t want to insult their efforts, but it is important to realize that a “humane certification” doesn’t mean that the hens are happy or live normal lives. Also, it is worth knowing that some certifications, ie Animal Welfare Approved are better than others.
Final note: producers can sell eggs cheaper because they reduce costs in ways that frequently come at the expense of animal welfare. Pastured eggs will cost more. It isn’t a ripoff, it is just how it is. We have to vote with our wallet.
Sorry, I got a little ranty at the end there :-)