We focus on these standards first:
- We aim to support vertically integrated operations where animals are grass fed, pastured raised and pasture finished at a natural pace and slaughtered at an older age, compared to conventional operations.
- We never import! Most Grass Fed beef operations import their meat internationally, even if it says "Grass Fed"
- We aim to utilize all parts of the animal wherever possible. This helps us decrease waste, pay ranchers a premium price, keep every aspect of the process within the local economy, and honor the life of the animal.
- We support ranching operations that go out of their way to use holistic grazing practices that improve the land and have a net positive environmental impact.
All meat producers (beef, pork, sheep, goat & poultry) must provide the following documents to us:
- Third party labor certification or join Farm2Me's Small Batch Certification.
- USDA Slaughterhouse paperwork.
- Organic certification (if marketed as organic).
- Animal Welfare claims.
- Non-GMO certification if marketed as GMO-Free Certified.
- A list of farms/ranches from which animals are sourced.
All meat producers must allow us to come on site. They need to produce a list of their rancher and/or butcher for sourcing meat.
All animals must:
- Be raised in the United States.
- Not treated with hormones.
- Not treated with subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics. If an animal is treated with a therapeutic dose of antibiotics, it cannot be subsequently used for production.
Specific guidelines for ruminants (beef, sheep & goat)
- In addition to the documents listed above, producers of ruminants must provide GAP Step-4 or Step-5 certification, AWA Certification, Certified Humane or letter of guarantee that it adheres to at least Step-4 standards.
- Ruminants must be raised on pasture, and not finished on a feedlot.
- Ruminants must not be raised or finished on a CAFO/AFO as defined by the USDA (AFO- animals confined more than 45 days in a 12 month period, CAFO as an AFO with more than 1000 animal units).
- Ruminants must not be fed or finished on GMO corn or soy.
- We prioritize working with ranchers who raise 100% grass-fed and finished animals, and upcycled vegetable produce that would otherwise go to waste.
Specific guidelines for pork
- In addition to the documents listed above, pork producers must provide GAP Step-3, -4, of -5 certification or letter of guarantee that it adheres to at least Step-3 standards.
- Pigs must not be raised or finished on a CAFO as defined by the USDA (as a non-pastured-centered AFO with more than 1000 animal units).
- Pigs must not be fed or finished on GMO corn or soy.
Specific guidelines for poultry (chicken, duck, turkey, and other game birds)
- In addition to the documents listed above, poultry producers must provide GAP Step-3, -4, of -5 certification or letter of guarantee that it adheres to at least Step-3 standards.
- Birds must have access to pasture 100% of the time or meet Cornucopia standards of 4+.
All of these criteria cover any product that is more than 50% meat by weight or volume or is the first ingredient. Any meat used as an ingredient that isn’t covered by these criteria must meet the sourcing criteria for the category under which the product containing meat falls.
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