SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news

 

 
Natural Products Expo West

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

Post a comment

By Elizabeth Crawford

20-Mar-2017

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

As animal welfare concerns become increasingly mainstream, farmers and manufacturers, such as the natural and organic meat brand Applegate, are optimistically rethinking the scale of and their approach to humanely raised animal agriculture.

“Up until this point, people really wanted just cheap, abundant supply of meat, right? And we didn’t really much care for how it was produced or how it got on our plate, but there is this change that is happening where people are asking questions. They want to know how their meat was produced or how the animals were raised,” and they are making a connection between animal welfare and human health, Gina Asoudegan, senior director of mission at Applegate, told FoodNavigator-USA at Natural Products Expo West.

She explained this shift is due to education efforts by non-government organizations, food bloggers and journalists and a natural evolution of the interest consumers placed first in ingredients such as vegetables and now are applying to meat.

“People turned a blind eye for many years, but when they started to see how animals were produced and put into gestation crates, and the started to ask more and more questions, it really pulled the curtain back on this industry,” she said.

This trend bodes well not only for improved animal welfare, but for companies like Applegate, which Asoudegan says was founded by a “conflicted vegetarian,” because the organic meat company already markets products from animals raised in the way consumers increasingly want to see.

This includes not using antibiotics, growth hormones or beta agonists, feeding animals a 100% vegetarian diet, providing animals more space for natural behaviors and natural growth and giving pigs and chickens environmental enrichments, according to the company’s website.

A new type of chicken

As the rest of the industry strives to catch up with Applegate’s standards, the meat company continues to push forward with an announcement in early March that it will move to slower growing broiler chickens.

Asoudegan explains that the majority of chicken sold today comes from fast growing varieties that favor white breast meat to the point that animals are top-heavy and can suffer physically as a result.

But now, she says, consumer tastes are changing to want different cuts of meat – allowing Applegate to explore other varieties that might live a higher quality life.

She acknowledged, however, the switch is not easy.

“These changes may seem small, but this is going to involve a different business structure,” she said. “Think about it: Right now there is an entire chicken industry that has been built around fast growing chickens and to change that is going to cost some money to change the barns and allow for open access and slower growth means, you know, less money or you have to charge a premium.”

Consumers may eat less meat, but that is not a bad thing

These higher prices may push consumers to eat less meat – moving it from the center of the plate to the side, Asoudegan said. But, she said she does not see this as a threat, but rather as an opportunity.

“I think that Applegate might be looking at itself not only as a meat company like we have for 30 years, but as a food company,” she said. “Maybe as a company that sells protein and protein comes in many forms, not just animal protein obviously. … Look at what we see with the rise in all the plant protein and the companies like Beyond Meat. I mean, I think this is really indicative of our future.”

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Related suppliers

Potential for Nutrition Facts label delay should not slow compliance

The potential of a delay to Nutrition Facts label changes should not slow compliance efforts

Assuming FDA does not delay the deadline for the new Nutrition Fact label as...

Arctic Zero CEO: Clean Label not just low sugar, low calorie, low fat

Arctic Zero’s new social media video campaign shows how ‘clean label’ is more than just ‘free-from’

With the launch of four new varieties, Arctic Zero produced a video to tell...

Manufacturers navigate greenwashing allegations

Manufacturers walk tightrope between demand for natural products and greenwashing allegations

Today’s consumers want products that are natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but manufacturers hoping...

Crunchies targets Millennial moms with freeze-dried fruits

Crunchies targets Millennial moms as fruit & veggie snacking gathers pace

If freeze-dried fruit conjures up images of space food, or brightly colored soggy bits...

Annie's sales set to reach $400m in fiscal 2017

Annie’s president: ‘Over the last two years we’ve added four million new households each year’

While some commentators baulked at the $820m General Mills parted with to get its...

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

Starting and growing a company is hard – especially in the highly competitive food...

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Americans may be becoming more adventurous in what they eat – seeking international flavors...

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio of clean, simple poultry & other frozen foods

McDonalds, Panera and other high profile food service companies took notable steps last year...

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

As animal welfare concerns become increasingly mainstream, farmers and manufacturers, such as the natural...

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synthetic biology, or GMO 2.0 as some are calling it, has vastly more penetration...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Will Moringa steal kale's top superfood spot?

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Will Moringa knock kale out of the top superfood spot?

For years kale has reigned supreme as the go-to superfood for many Americans thanks...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Fair Trade certification tackles coconut supply

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Could Fair Trade certification help avoid a coconut shortage?

Ever since coconut water burst on to the US market several years ago, Americans...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Emerging class action litigation targets

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Emerging class action litigation targets

The number of class action cases filed against food and beverage companies continues to...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Threats to bees threaten whole food industry

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Industry stakeholders seek to take the sting out of threats to bees’ health

Spring has finally sprung, which means birds are chirping, crops are blooming and bees...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Top marketing strategies for natural products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Clean label 2.0 and other top marketing strategies for natural products

When it comes to marketing products in the natural channel it seems like there...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The opportunity for medicinal mushrooms

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rising opportunity for mushrooms in food and beverage

Growing awareness of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms as well as increasing demand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional Organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional helps conventional farms make the switch to organic

Despite organic’s strong appeal with double-digit year-over-year growth since the early 1990s, and the...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

From restaurants’ fixation with ghost peppers to the presence of sriracha on dining tables...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Every year more people wake up to coffee or use it to fuel them...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...

Promotional Features

Content Provided by Fonterra

Way forward with whey protein