On September 20, 2011, we added an important new category to our landmark local-sourcing program, Farm to Fork. We have extended the program to mid-size poultry and hog farms, cattle ranches, and dairies that meet our stringent criteria. By doing so, we hope to nourish this critically endangered segment of agriculture known as the “disappearing middle.” And by requiring third-party humane certification, we hope to increase the supply of ethically raised meat and poultry, which has not kept up with demand as the meat industry consolidates under ever-more-massive factory farms.
Our rules for Farm to Fork eligibility for all farms and artisans are as follows:
|Size/Type of farm||Ownership||Distance from Bon Appétit kitchen||Annual sales volume||Certification|
|Small farms, orchards, mills growing plant-based products||Owner-operated1||150 miles or less||$5 million or less2||None3|
|Small producers of meat, poultry and eggs4, dairy and cheese||Owner-operated1||150 miles or less||$5 million or less2||None4|
|Small artisan producers of items such as baked goods, ice cream or gelato||Owner-operated1||Production within 150 miles; at least 50% of product, by weight, sourced from within 150 miles.5||$5 million or less2||None6|
|Mid-size producers of meat, poultry and eggs, dairy and cheese||Owner-operated1||500 miles or less||Less than 1% of industry leaders’ sales volume for each species cultivated7||Stringent third-party humane certifications: required8|
In addition to the Farm to Fork criteria above, we use only rBGH-free milk and yogurt (since 2002); chicken, turkey, and hamburger from animals raised without the routine use of antibiotics (since 2003); and cage-free shell eggs (since 2005). We have also added a new Fish to Fork program specifically for local seafood.
1 Co-ops of owner-operators are acceptable.
2 If a co-op, all members must gross $5 million or less and be a true co-op rather than contractors to a large corporation.
3 We do not require any sustainability certifications. We encourage producers to share evidence of certifications, integrated pest management or organic practices, and other third-party validated evidence of best agricultural practices.
4 Shell egg producers must have third-party humane certification.
5 To be considered Farm to Fork, milled grains must come from within 150 miles as well as be milled locally.
6 We do not require any sustainability certifications of artisans, but we do require a variety of legal documents including a certificate of insurance and a W9.
7 Currently, this ranges from $15 million for turkey to $132 million for beef.
8 Third-party certification from Humane Farm Animal Care, Animal Welfare Approved, Global Animal Partnership, or Food Alliance. A producer can be enrolled if they have had an initial consultation with one of these agencies and commit to completing the process within 18 months. If they fail to get certified, they will no longer be considered Farm to Fork suppliers.