We’ve prepared a new one-page document that lays out the arguments for grassfed meats, especially those that are AGA Certified. if you’re a producer, please feel free to print and distribute to your customers — just be sure to give us credit. You can download the PDF here.
Email us your grassfed news GrassfedNews@americangrassfed.org
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Why Meat Terminology Is Important
by Marilyn Noble, AGA Communications Director (from the AGA producer newsletter, 5/10/12)
One of the things I like best about my job is being able to educate consumers and the media about grassfed meats and the people who commit their efforts to raising and producing them. Sometimes, though, it feels like I’m up to my hips in feedlot manure, especially when it comes to terminology and labeling.
A couple of weeks ago I read an article written by a food writer who said she doesn’t feel that the term grassfed is accurate, so from now on she’s going to refer to grassfed meat as grass-finished. In her mind, that may be more clear, but in the real world, it’s totally incorrect and does her readers a disservice. And then I read about a James Beard Award-winning chef who referred to the meat he serves as “some grassfed and some ‘grassfed and grain-finished.’” WRONG!
I don’t think either of these people is ill-intentioned or trying to deceive anyone — they simply haven’t been educated about the correct terminology. And if people in the food industry don’t know, how confused must the general public be?
That’s why it’s vitally important for anyone who raises and sells grassfed products to use uniform terminology and to educate the customer. One reason people stop buying sustainably-raised food is that they get overwhelmed and confused by all of the different labels, and it’s just easier to give up and buy a dozen factory-raised white eggs and a Styrofoam tray of ground beef. If we’re going to continue to grow into something more than a tiny niche market in the multi-billion dollar food industry, we all have to be sending the same message.
Below is a terminology primer. Feel free to copy it and add it to your website, pass it out to your customers at the farmers market, or incorporate it into your newsletter. (As always, please give AGA attribution.) If you or your processor, distributor, or customers have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us. And if there’s any way we can help you spread the word, let us know. We’re here to support you.
Consumers Want Transparency in Labeling, According to New Study
GREENVILLE, NC (April 26, 2012)- Animal Welfare Approved (AWA), the nonprofit certification program for pasture-based family farms, and the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University, have just announced the results of a survey aimed at understanding consumer preference for sustainable meat, dairy and eggs. The national survey was conducted online in 2011 and focused on food choices while traveling, dining out, and eating at home.
Initial findings offer good news for sustainable farmers, as well as the retailers and restaurants offering their products. Almost half of respondents reported including sustainable meat, dairy, and/or eggs in 1-5 meals each week. The vast majority of respondents believe sustainable products are healthier (89.6%), more nutritious (80.8%), better tasting (80.7%), better for the environment (93.8%), and safer (86.3%) than conventionally raised animal products. Additionally, a majority of respondents stated that they would pay more for sustainably raised meat, dairy and eggs, but noted these products were difficult to find in chain grocery stores. As 60% of respondents reported shopping in these chain grocery stores, this could represent a marketing opportunity for sustainable farms.
AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther explained the evolution of the study: “We knew the demand was there. Proving it was another matter, and we are grateful to Dr. Carol Kline and her team, our partners on the study, for demonstrating the tremendous potential of this growing market and the importance of transparent labeling.” The study also revealed promising findings for farms engaged in agritourism. A majority of respondents reported a willingness to pay for a tour of a sustainable farm, and believed the visit would increase their loyalty to the farm brand.
The theme of transparency was a common thread throughout the study, and was most apparent in the overwhelming consumer demand for transparent labeling. Nearly all respondents said that clear labeling for animal products was very important to increasing the production and consumption of sustainably raised meats. Gunther concluded, “This study confirms what we have been advocating all along -informed consumers make sustainable choices.”
Read the full report at http://www.
- Why Grassfed Is Best
- Why Meat Terminology Is Important
- Consumers Want Transparency in Labeling, According to New Study
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