02.01.2016

Raising Beef to Exceed Industry Standards

We’re certified to sell our beef through the Global Animal Partnership program (GAP) as it exceeds industry standards.  GAP is a non-profit organization that rates animal welfare, based on their conditions, treatment, etc.  We’re rated at a Step 4 (there are 5), which is the highest rating possible for cattle that do not spend their whole lives on the same farm–our cattle are transported to the desert in the winter.  The purpose of GAP ratings and joining the program is so that consumers know where their food comes from and that certain standards were met in raising the animals.  As the producer, we pay extra money to participate in this program and we pay a premium to feed our cattle before slaughter to ensure that the standards continue to be met. We usually receive a small premium for doing all this extra work.  Then, our beef is sold in specific grocery stores or restaurants, labelled as GAP Step 4 beef.

Here are just some of the retailers that sell GAP certified meats.

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Obviously I’m making this sound so much easier than the process really is.  We have to keep very precise records about cattle vaccines, treatment of sick cattle, treatment of injured cattle, pasture movements, amount of time cattle are transported, feed and water sources, etc.  We’re audited annually to make sure that we comply with all of the GAP requirements.  It’s a really expensive and labor intensive program to make only a small premium, but if you add it up over a large number of cattle, it definitely pays.

It’s really neat to walk into a grocery store and see them selling Step 4 beef, and know that there’s a possibility that it could be yours.  Some stores are actually starting to list the ranch where the meats originated.  I’d love to have someone say they saw ours labeled there one day.  It’s small and hard to see the logos on each of these meat tags, but the 4 circled in green signifies that this beef is GAP Step 4 certified.  This was at the Whole Foods Market in SLC.

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The different standards for each step vary for cattle, sheep, poultry, meat goats and pigs.

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To learn more about the GAP program, click here.

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  1. […] Source: Where Does Your Beef Come From […]

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