Taking local meat to the next level
The meat industry’s consolidation into a handful of gigantic producers has been accompanied by myriad modern problems such as contaminated food outbreaks, animal mistreatment scandals, and environmental pollution. Yet in the course of seeking out the small-scale hog and poultry farmers and beef ranchers that we have been supporting for years, we’ve discovered that there are responsible, midsize regional producers with similar values struggling to survive and grow.
That’s why in September 2011, we opened registration in our Farm to Fork program — our landmark preferred-purchasing program previously restricted to small farms — to midsize poultry and hog farms, cattle ranches, and dairies that meet our stringent criteria. By doing so, we hoped to nourish this critically endangered segment of agriculture known as the “disappearing middle.” And by requiring third-party certification (by either Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care, or Global Animal Partnership), we hoped 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.
See our Farm to Fork registration criteria >