Farmer and sustainable agriculture advocate Andrew Gunther passed away unexpectedly on February 19. Gunther served as the executive director of A Greener World (AGW), a nonprofit that promotes sustainable livestock farming and helps farmers and ranchers implement transparent, ethical practices.
Gunther grew up in the United Kingdom with a background in agriculture. He formerly served as a Global Animal Compassion Coordinator at Whole Foods Market, where he helped launch a five-step welfare program. Alongside his wife and children, Gunther pioneered the world’s first organic poultry hatchery for chickens.
During his 13-year tenure at AGW, Gunther expanded the reach and recognition of the organization’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved food label, which is lauded as one of the United States’ most reputable livestock certification programs. The certification helps ensure that animals are raised in pastures or ranges on independent farms that use sustainable, high-welfare practices.
Gunther fought for the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of pasture-based meat, dairy, and eggs, and strove to bring farmers and ranchers into conversations about sustainable livestock. He regularly contributed to Huffington Post, where he raised awareness around antibiotic use among meat suppliers, lobbying efforts promoting industrialized agriculture, and more.
“Andrew’s experience and passion for supporting and empowering farmers made him a true leader, and expert and a friend to many,” AGW writes in a recent press release. “While this unimaginable loss leaves our hearts heavy, may Andrew’s life and work inspire all of us to continue the work that must be done.”
Gunther is survived by his wife, Tracy, two sons, Cameron and Oliver, and grandchild. His family is accepting donations to help cover the costs of Gunther’s unexpected passing.