WFCF Storybit : Cedar Rock Farms

Originating from South Africa in the 1900s this popular animal derives from the Dutch word “farmer.” Any guesses on what we animal we are talking about this week?  Let’s give you another hint.  This selective breed has long pendulous ears and adapts well to nearly every environment.  Still not sure? This week we are talking about Boer Goats.  After coming to the United States in 1993, this specific goat breed gained immediate popularity and changed the meat goat industry.  Just like other food groups, consumers continue to demand a different variety of choices when it comes to the meat that they consume. Cathy Pridmore and the team at Cedar Rock Ranch support that movement, which is why they chose to verify their goats.  Let’s head to Napa Valley, California and learn more about Cathy and her team.


Cedar Rock Ranch

Starting in 1927, this family farm has been raising livestock their entire lives. Six generations later and they are still raising animals.  If you haven’t guessed, they really love their livestock. Cathy Pridmore’s grandfather raised cows his entire life, but always had several goats on the farm.  So, having goats around was no stranger to Cathy.  If fact, after Cathy married Gil, he brought her home a dairy goat to supply their milk, which eventually fed their three children.

Cathy’s Boer herd started to grow after receiving a call from the local Humane Society, whom had two goats who desperately needed a home.  So, Cathy being the animal lover she is, headed down to the Humane Society to check out the goats.  After seeing the goats, she couldn’t resist and had to bring them home.  Shortly after bringing the goats home they had three brand new babies.  Today, they have around 200 beautiful Boer Goats.  Their goats live in the mountains of Napa Valley just under 100 acres and continues to grow as they continue to add fence.

During 2017, the ranch had a close call due to the intensity of the Atlas Fire, which is exactly when the goats thought it was a good time to start giving birth.  Needless to say, Cathy and team had their hands full between caring for the new baby goats and dealing with the fire burning around the ranch.  All in all, it was a good story and both the ranch and the babies survived!


Why Boar Goats
?

Cathy has been around goats her entire life.  So, what makes Boar Goats so special?  For starters, this specific breed of goat is considered superior when it comes to meat production.  These goats generally have white bodies and a distinctive reddish-brown head.  Some have spots throughout their body.  This breed is very adaptable to multiple types of climate and also helps the forage.  These docile animals can also breed throughout the year.  Cathy and team have become experts at raising this type of livestock.  The continued demand for lean quality meat is one of the driving forces for the development of the goat meat industry.

Cedar Rock Ranch Becomes First-Ever GAP-Approved Goat Operation 

Shortly after the Atlas Fire in 2017, Cathy was approached by Whole Foods about raising goats specifically for them, which also meant that they had to become a Global Animal Partnership (GAP) approved goat farm, which did not yet exist.

However, Cedar Rock Ranch accepted the challenge.  They quickly became a Whole Foods partner, and were excited about the opportunity to learn a new way to provide transparency to consumers.  Cathy and team began working with the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) and IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, which is only one of two companies that can verify to the GAP Standard.  After a lot of hard work by all parties, Cedar Rock Ranch then became the first-ever, and as of October 1, 2019, the only, GAP approved goat operation.

Cathy says she is proud to be part of the GAP certification program because it gives consumers the confidence they need when they choose products.  It helps ensure that animals were raised safely, naturally, and humanely.  As a mom herself, she knows it’s important to have better choices when it comes to her family’s food. Cathy and team are extremely excited to be a part of this program and what it stands for.

IMI Global GAP Program Manager, Kelly Crymble, said she enjoys assisting new producers as they navigate GAP opportunities, she went on to say, “I am excited that our team was at the forefront of being able to verify the first-ever GAP Meat Goat operation.  We have worked extensively to grow the GAP program for all species and will continue to make every effort to expand this program and provide opportunities for producers.”

Shelby Jensma, an IMI Global Verification Specialist, was fortunate to work one-on-one with Cathey, and was even able to visit their operation.  When asked about Cathey and Cedar Rock Ranch, she said “Cedar Rock is a small, quaint operation located in a beautiful valley in Napa.  Cathy has a large, open space with multiple pastures set up for her animals, and it’s obvious her goats are loved and well cared for.  She’s extremely knowledgeable as she has been doing it for more than 40 years.”

So, even though Boer goats are relatively new to the United States, Cedar Rock Ranch has proven they’re here to stay – and now with a shiny new GAP logo on their packaging!  Next time you’re in Whole Foods, know that you’re likely (for now) looking at meat from Cedar Rock Ranch, a WFCF/IMI Global approved farm.

 

WFCF Storybit : Trail Truffles – Let’s Hit the Trail!

Most of us have a busy lifestyle, a lifestyle that can include kids, work, personal hobbies or perhaps all three.  Sometimes you get so caught up in your activities that you forget to grab a snack and quickly find yourself in that state between hungry and angry, widely known as “hangry.” No one wants to be in the hangry state.  When you grab that on-the-go snack it’s probably not giving you all the nutrients or energy you really need. So, then you find yourself regretting the small bag of cheese puffs you just devoured.  Well, we have a solution!  We recently had the pleasure of meeting one of our customers face-to-face at our Expo East Reception, and their snack was a favorite by many!  A snack that is both convenient and nutritious – Trial Truffles!  Today, we hit the trails with Casey Zaugg, Chief Truffle Officer at Trail Truffles, and see why these high protein bites should be a part of your snack rotation.

The Story 

Years ago, Casey was competing in a 100K mountain bike race with about 10 miles remaining and needed some serious fuel to get him across the finish line. The gels and gummies weren’t cutting it and all he had left was a cumbersome energy bar. In 90-degree heat, with every bite he took he found himself trying to wash it down with water.  The entire time thinking to himself, “there’s got to be a better way!”  Casey then realized that there was not a fueling solution in the marketplace that was convenient, portable, healthy and tasty.  So, Casey immediately sprang into action.  After a few years of research and development, his trail-blazing passion led him to create the perfect “clean energy” snack, and Trail Truffles was born.

Yes, there are many fueling options that exist in the market today, but none capture all the characteristics that Trail Truffles does, which makes them so unique. Their non-melting, non-freezing chocolate shell, with an indulgent filling is unlike other mixes.  It provides the decadence of a dark chocolate truffle, all the while being easy to eat and provides sustained fuel for whatever adventures your life takes you. This is a quick pick-me-up to make it through the afternoon, or a healthful snack for the kiddos, Trail Truffles are designed to be the go-to source of energy that satiates your sweet tooth with healthful ingredients. Their varieties range from coconut macadamia, mint crème, to chocolate hazelnut. Are you taste buds salivating yet?

Casey eventually left the corporate world to follow his passion, the trails.  The entire Trail Truffles team is highly engaged with all things trail related from biking to hiking and more.  The importance of healthy options while out on the trail are paramount to them. Since Trail Truffles were born on the Trail, they absolutely want to deliver a product that meets the strict requirements of the “outdoorsy crowd” as well as the nutritionally minded individual.

In addition to providing a nutritious snack, Casey and team plan to move all of their packaging to compostable and plant-based by 2020 to ensure the only “footprint” their customers leave on the trail is from their boots, not their waste. Casey and team are also working toward a partnership with the National Parks Foundation to give back a percentage of their sales to the trails they use and love.  Their focus is to ensure a legacy of trail stewardship and support.

Verification Programs 

Today, Trail Truffles participates in the Non-GMO Project verification program.  Trail Truffles use simple ingredients with no additives, preservatives, or unpronounceable elements.  Many of the ingredients are naturally high in antioxidants so the Truffles don’t spoil easily.  With the exception of the peanut butter cup, Trail Truffles are paleo friendly, including Whole30 and Keto.  You can purchase the snack pouches online from their store @ www.trailtruffles.com, Amazon, Whole Foods Rocky Mountain region, Earth Fare and many other regional chains. View their entire store listings here.

 

Why Verify?

Trail Truffles wants to be transparent with their customers. Sound familiar? No wonder they partner with Where Food Comes From.  They too understand the importance of sharing their food story.  Casey and team want to communicate to their customers that the ingredients and methods of processing that they use in their product meets the strict verification standards.  This ensures the quality and efficiency of the Trail Truffle product. They want to be a brand that consumers trust.  Happy Trails!

 

 

WFCF Storybit : Regatta Craft Mixers

From sophisticated and classic to a fruity tiki drink, cocktails come in all colors, flavors, and styles.  In fact, they’ve become so popular that many places are creating special holiday cocktail menus.  Don’t you love when your cocktail comes with a fun garnish? Maybe a pickle or olives, editable glitter or even the classic tiki umbrella? Not only do you want them to look nice but the more important detail is for them to taste amazing.  One important step is picking the right high-quality mixer to make the perfect cocktail.  Regatta Craft Mixers paired with your preferred spirit, delivers the perfect recipe for a delicious drink. Here’s the best part, they participate in the Non-GMO Project verification program!  Did we “spike” your interest yet? Let’s learn more about their story, and why they choose to verify!

The Story

In the early 2000’s, industry veteran, Stan Rottell, wanted to bring a more versatile ginger beer to the beverage market. He wanted something that would wow your taste buds. This new ginger beer would go beyond the iconic ‘Dark & Stormy’ cocktail and mix creatively with a wider range of spirits. In 2006, Stan’s vision became reality when he launched Regatta Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer. This new ginger beer became an instant favorite among bartenders and bar owners.  It was even instrumental in bringing back the iconic Moscow Mule.

 In 2016, Stan retired and sold Regatta Ginger Beer to the current owner, Affinity Beverages LLC. Affinity is aggressively investing capital and infusing new resources and energy into product development, sales expansion and marketing, which is allowing their team to be more agile and reactive to the evolving beverage marketplace.

With the recent explosion of premium craft spirits and cocktails, they knew the time was right to offer other high-quality mixers that pair with today’s preferred spirits. Earlier this year they launched several new flavors! Royal Oak Ginger Ale – excellent when paired with Bourbon, Dry Citrus Sparkling Tonic that elevates the gin cocktail experience, Light Ginger Beer – great combined with vodka for a tasty yet slim version of the popular mule cocktail and Pacific Sea Salt Club Soda– sharp, crisp and refreshing, creating just the right balance of flavor and carbonation.  Now those sound like delicious cocktails to us!

Verification

Regatta Craft Mixers are made with only the best natural ingredients curated from around the world and then crafted in small batches – just as their award-winning Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer has been made since 2006. They contain no artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, are non-GMO, BPA and gluten-free and are all made right here in the U.S.

Currently, Regatta participates in the Non-GMO Project verification program.  Regatta says the Non-GMO Project verification is very important to them because it gives consumers (and them!) the guarantee that their ingredients are all-natural and not genetically modified. These know that these qualifications are important to today’s consumers and also to their brand.

“Where Food Comes From, Inc. was instrumental in helping us obtain our Non-GMO Project verified status, which is now displayed on all of the slim can products.” says Regatta.

They have since launched their slim cans in grocery outlets across the country, many of which require this designation to be considered for distribution.  Regatta is currently exploring other verification programs for 2020.

Go Regatta, or go home!

The range of their offerings meets consumer’s desire for healthier, authentic mixers that make more interesting cocktails without sacrificing quality and taste. Regatta Craft Mixers have something for every drinking occasion, whether they are looking to unwind in refined relaxation or to quench their thirst with a refreshing indulgence.

Whether you’re sitting on the patio at your home or socializing at a BBQ, these mixers are sure to add that spark to your cocktail.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

To learn more about Regatta, click HERE.
To learn more about Where Food Comes From, click HERE.

 

 

Honey Girl Organics

Each week we bring you the stories behind your food because transparency matters to you today more than ever before. This also means that people are becoming more conscious of the lifestyle choices they are making for themselves and their families.  Think about the products you put, not just into your body, but onto your body.  If you’re mindful about the food you eat, the next logical step is to start seeking an understanding about what you’re putting on your skin.  You’re already asking what’s in your kitchen pantry so let’s start checking the bathroom cabinet too.

The Story

Used as a term of endearment, Honey Girl Organics, entered the beauty market in 2006.  Created by Anthony Maxfield, Gwen Maxfield and Christina Sirlin, they sought out to design a chemical-free moisturizer.  This led to Anthony experimenting with honey, beeswax, and olive oil.  After a few broken blenders, he came up with a nail and cuticle crème.  They quickly discovered that honey and beeswax had great rejuvenating properties, perfect for a moisturizer.  For years, the three would create creams for themselves and their friends. Their dedication to creating natural products, coupled with the Green Beauty Movement, helped them create their brand.  Today, Honey Girl Organics can be found in more than 400 stores across the country, which includes our friends at Whole Foods.

The Products

So, what does Honey Girl Organics offer?  Glad you asked.  They offer a wide range of products from facial scrubs, serums, creams, toners, lip balm, and even a facial wash.  They also cater to those individuals that have sensitive skin.  The best part about their products is they are completely transparent about what goes into their skincare.  No surprises here! If you’re unsure about what products to use or if it will work for your skin, they offer a sample pack of your choosing.  To see a full list of their products and to do a little shopping yourself, check out their product page.

Verification

Honey Girl Organics is, you guessed it, USDA Certified Organic, which means the product is 95% or more Organic. In order to be Certified Organic the product must be all natural, no synthetic chemicals, and contain no pesticides.  Honey Girl Organic’s products have no parabens, hormones, silicones, petroleum products, artificial preservatives, filler or other unnatural additives in their manufacturing.  They work diligently to maintain their certifications and provide the most effective and safe skin care possible.

Check out their video “Bees to Beauty” to learn more.

 

 

WFCF Storybit : Eagle Rock Ranch

The Eagle Rock Story

The Eagle Rock Ranch story is one of a first-generation ranching family that started with a dream and dedication.  Dave and Jean Gottenborg, who met as wranglers on a dude ranch back in the mid ‘70s, have wanted to own a ranch for as long as they can remember.  That dream became a reality when they purchased Eagle Rock Ranch, located just west of Denver, CO in Jefferson, after Dave retired in 2012.  While neither him nor Jean had a ranching background, they knew they could make it work! Through ranch classes offered at Colorado State University, hiring good ranch hands, surrounding themselves with like-minded ranchers and a deep rooted passion for this endeavor, they were able to transform Eagle Rock Ranch into what it is today.  Eagle Rock Ranch is also a proud member of the Country Natural Beef Co-op.

The ranch itself is situated at 9,000 feet elevation in the Colorado High Country in central Colorado.  The ranch straddles Tarryall Creek, located in the Terryall Valley, which in their opinion, is one of the most beautiful and scenic high mountain valleys in the entire United States. This is where their cattle are born, raised and spend virtually all of their life.  The Tarryall Valley has been designated as a National Rural Historic District and is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places as well as the Colorado State Registry of Historic Properties.  Eagle Rock Ranch has even been assigned a Smithsonian Institute identification number of 5PA.4467. With all the added history, the Gottenborg’s are truly living out their dream on Eagle Rock Ranch.

Dave and Jean have two children, Drew and Erin.  Now all grown up, Drew and his family visit on weekends when they can, and Erin, along with her husband and three kids, are weekend warriors on the ranch.  She says she never dreamed her parents would own a ranch.  She grew up riding horses and was an avid 4H member. She remembers the days of renting backyard barns from neighbors where she would keep her horses. She too dreamed of a day where she would have her own horse barn.

Now, fast forward about 25 years, Erin loves watching her children, and her nieces and nephews, experiencing the ranch at such a young age.  She is continuously in awe of the ranch and can’t believe this is where she gets to make a life and enjoy her passion. 

 

 

 

Verification Programs  

Today, Eagle Rock Ranch participates in numerous verification programs. They are a proud to be Beef Quality Assurance certified, as well as verified as Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC), Verified Natural Beef and Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4 programs through IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc.

They believe that having exposure to these programs is what helps them produce their high-quality, Verified Natural, grass-fed Black Angus beef that they are so proud to offer consumers.  They even recently started offering “Eagle Rock Ranch” branded beef that consumers can order from them directly.

Happy Cattle, Happy Life

It’s obvious that Eagle Rock Ranch focuses on sustainability and quality.  In fact, throughout their ranch you’ll see signs that say, “Quality in Everything We Do,” because that’s exactly what they strive for.  They pride themselves in the way they treat their animals and take no short cuts when it comes to the care of the ranch and treat their animals with the respect they deserve.  They are constantly reminding themselves that “happy cows produce great tasting meat,” which is why they feed their cattle the protein rich natural grasses, let them drink from cool mountain run off water, and breath fresh mountain air. They believe this is key to creating a superior product for consumers, and they look forward to what’s to come.

Learn more about Eagle Rock Ranch here.
Learn more about Where Food Comes From here.

 

 

CRSB Driving Sustainability Within the Canadian Beef Industry

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Framework 

Sustainability – in terms of food production, you may have heard it associated with organic foods or when “farm-to-table” is discussed, but this sustainability goes beyond that. While it means something different to everyone, it’s definitely has a focus around reducing waste, decreasing packaging and limiting processed foods.  Basically, eliminating the negative environmental consequences and providing you a cleaner food product.  With the help of groups and communities like the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), the food industry continues to move toward a more sustainable future.  This week we head North to take a look at CRSB and provide a look at what this community of stakeholders has dedicated to in order continue producing food sustainably, specifically their Certified Sustainable Beef Framework certification.

Who They Are?

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is made up of multiple collaborative stakeholders in the Canadian Beef industry.  These members are comprised of organizations across the beef value chain and beyond. From ranchers, academic institutions, foodservice companies to non-government associations, these members all share the same vision to change the beef industry.  They take pride in being socially responsible, economically viable, environmentally sound and not only prioritizing the people, but the planet and animals too.

Today, the CRSB has adopted five specific guiding principles for its dedication and work in Canada. These core principles include natural resources, food, people and the community, animal welfare, innovation and efficiency.  Each of these helps define beef sustainability.  This allows the group to identify opportunities for improvement and highlight areas where the industry is excelling.  CRSB certification gives producers the proof they are doing things right.

The CRSB Certified Sustainable Beef Framework Certification

Closing the gap between certified food and consumer demand is quite the task.  So how is the gap closed?  By certifying more food producers, ranchers, and farmers. Where Food Comes From partners with CRSB to educate producers about the importance of verification and the process that goes along with it.  The Certified Sustainable Beef Framework is a certification standard that certifies farms, ranches and processing facilities.   This gives them the ability to carry a certified sustainable operation label. They also assist the retail and the food service industry with their sustainable beef sourcing efforts. To you, the consumer, this means that credible transparent messaging about your food is occurring through marketing efforts and product labeling.

Developed with multiple purposes in mind, the framework balances consumer needs while advancing beef sustainability in Canada.  This includes recognizing best practices in the industry, supporting supply chains interested in making the move, and avoiding duplicated efforts when it comes to verifying operations.

Certification

In order to get certified, ranches must follow specific steps outlined by the CRSB. These steps are outlined below:

  • Inform– Track records and engage with current CRSB materials
  • Engage– Gather necessary information, agree on date, start audit preparations
  • Audit/Certify – Conduct audit and review report. Respond to any corrective actions
  • Maintain– Audit cycle is 5 years. Maintain your certificate with annual surveillance requirements
  • Improve – Engage in audit cycle and identify opportunities for improvement

Once results of the audit are reviewed, a certificate is issued or corrective actions are issued to be completed within a specific amount of time.  The CRSB helps support each of these steps by providing the indicators that are audited, lists of requirements, and how to communicate to the public once they are certified.  This is truly a collaborative process. CRSB is enabling consumers to purchase sustainably sourced products because of their transparency and education. They are raising the bar when it comes to sustainable beef.

To learn more about CRSB check out this video.

Where to find CRSB Certified food?

While the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework certification is new, it is quickly taking off.  Just recently Harvey’s was added to the list of approved food chains to take part in the program.  McDonald’s, Loblaws, Swiss Chalet, Original Joe’s and Cactus Club are also partners in the sustainable beef pilot program.

 

 

 

Blockchain In The Food Industry

Since the first day our founders wandered onto a ranch and convinced our first customer we could improve their operation by using computers and data analysis, Where Food Comes From has continued to look for applications of technology within the food industry.  Automating processes at a ranch or feedlot, experimenting with drones, digitizing stock and utilizing cloud-based data management platforms are all innovative ways you can keep an eye on an operation.

But today, we take a look into Blockchain – the newest buzzword you keep hearing about!   So, what is blockchain?  To keep it simple, a “blockchain” is a type of cloud-based database that stores data records.  For all things food related, a blockchain would begin with a food producer submitting information into this database – a food producer could be a tomato or lettuce grower, a cattle or pig producer or even a flower farmer!  As their products move through the supply chain to the retailer, new data would be uploaded along the way and by the time it made it’s way to a retail store, they’d be able to trace it back to the producer.

So, while blockchain technology clearly enables a whole host of new data sharing capabilities post-production, it will also intensify the importance of verifying data at the point of production.

Over the past few years our teams have been fielding several questions regarding blockchain as it relates to the food industry and, as with a number of technology improvements before it, we’ve kept a keen eye on this revolutionary technology. In many ways, blockchain is unique and will no doubt change how information is exchanged among stakeholders of any supply chain. One thing however has become abundantly clear and that is as blockchain enables new data sharing capabilities after a producer ships off their product, it will also intensify the importance of ensuring that the data that was submitted is accurate.


Advantages to Blockchains in the Food Industry  

First, they will enable various stakeholders to both add to, as well as view, elements of a products journey from production to consumption. Instead of getting a whole bunch of systems to talk to one another, blockchain solutions offer a data layer that can sit across all of them.

This is powerful because currently, a product moves through many different systems and databases as it makes it’s way from a producer to a processor to a retail store.  This current reality makes it difficult to share information along the way, as each system requires a link to another, or heaven forbid requires someone to repetitively enter the data at each step manually. Blockchain can automate this, which would optimize costs and effort along the way.  The journey through the supply chain will be more detailed than ever with the combined advances in electronic tagging and labeling that enables location, temperature and proximity and more to be known. These details will empower all forms of continuous improvement along the way.

Blockchain solutions will also enable consumer and retail visibility of a products journey like never before. Retailers will be able to tell the story of a true farm-to-table journey in such a way that has not been done before. There are still several industry challenges at the processor level where much is turned into individual shelf-ready packages, however having a chain-wide platform may very well enable solutions through that step.

Second, tracking blockchain data is done in such a way that is referred to as “immutable,” meaning that no single party can change the history of the data. Blockchain keeps a public record of everything that is entered into it – and it is important to note that the data submitted is not currently verified by anyone except the person that is submitting it.

For instances of public safety and having an indisputable, or at least publicly agreeable, record that is immediately available through a digital interface could be a game-changer for many industries that lack this sort of visibility. For companies and other large entities that desire immediate real-time visibility of an entire supply-chain, this too is a solution to an age-old problem of needing to see the stops that were made along the way to its final destination.


Looking ahead

Now, to be fair, this is a simple summary of the key elements of what blockchain will enable or improve over existing systems.  In our experience however, any technology that enables greater and more fluid data transference among stakeholders, tends to define and create new avenues of business previously unimagined.

One thing that all of this suggests is that the value of this data will increase exponentially as the data is shared more broadly. As blockchain solutions revolutionize how data is tracked and propagated, the need for that data to be verified and confirmed to be true, will grow exponentially as well, especially when data entered into a record is shared with all stakeholders in an unalterable fashion.

MN Farm Living Discuss ‘Why Pig Farmers Are Audited’ In Recent Blog Post – Read More!

Audits are very common in business. When we think of audits, we think of banks, taxes, businesses for sales tax, etc. Especially anything that has to do with finances. But did you know pig farmers are audited? In fact, multiple types of “audits?” Let me tell you about the types of audits we do on our farm.

Continue reading Wanda’s blog here. . .

WFCF Launches WFCF Gluten Free Standard

Sensitivity to certain ingredients has become increasingly common in the food community. It’s almost certain that you’ve heard a lot about gluten sensitivity over the last few years or maybe you actually know someone who has some level of intolerance to gluten-based foods. In fact, Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the small intestine when gluten is consumed, affects 1% of Americans today. That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with celiac disease and a great majority of them are undiagnosed.  The heightened awareness around gluten sensitivities has many consumers exploring gluten free diets, resulting in a gluten free food market that is set to reach $6.43 billion by 2025.

The growing popularity of gluten free diets and foods has led brands to respond to these demands. They are utilizing labeling claims related to whether the food contains any form of gluten proteins.  Unfortunately, a lack of national and international standards exists about how to properly measure and label the term “gluten free.”  Some of the claims you see on packages remain unverified today.  So how can you trust the gluten free claims on your food packages?

WFCF Gluten Free

The WFCF Gluten Free program includes a combination of quantitative analysis, segregation and traceability to ensure the ingredients and products themselves being marketed are gluten free. Part of this process includes the management of eliminating the introduction of gluten proteins whether that be accidental or otherwise during food production. WFCF ensures that all parts of the process from manufacturing, storage, and packaging is certified under the proper standards, and requires finished products to be tested to ensure the absence of gluten proteins.  Testing is done down to the parts-per-million (ppm), and any product that tests above 10ppm for gluten is not eligible for certification.

Why Trust WFCF Gluten Free?

As a consumer you should have confidence in the claims food companies make on their packages.  That is why independently verified claims through third-party companies like Where Food Comes From (WFCF) are so important. WFCF understands the importance of being transparent about the claims on the food products you are feeding yourself and your family. Gluten Free certification isn’t a fad, but rather a necessity for those with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.

If you’d like to learn more about the WFCF Gluten Free Standard you can find more information on their website here.

Feed Verified Program

Over the last few months we’ve shared dozens of stories about our farmers, ranchers, and partners and the verification processes they participate in.  If you’ve been a regular blog reader you’ve likely come to understand that those verification processes include multiple pillars covering specific guidelines that provide the framework for the food certifications. From worker care, animal welfare, and environment standards, all of these categories are extremely critical when it comes to the food we eat.  Did you know that even the feed animals eat can impact their eligibility for certain verification programs? IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, offers the Feed Verified program as a way to ensure farmers and ranchers that the feeds they are purchasing or are looking to purchase meet the requirements of certain programs.  Feeds are a critical component to achieving verification and can also be a risk area when it comes to compliance, which is why the layer of assurance Feed Verified provides is increasingly valuable to livestock owners.

IMI Global

As a leading provider of verification solutions, IMI Global understands the need to provide a variety of services when it comes to program quality and customer expectations.  As you’ve learned in earlier blogs, IMI Global supports verification services for the livestock industry, including beef, pork, dairy, poultry, bison and eggs.  IMI Global is constantly evolving, improving and growing based on what the market is demanding, and Feed Verified is a perfect example of how industry needs prompt program innovation. Let’s take a look!

Feed Verified  

Feed Verified is a resource for livestock producers to search feeds that have been reviewed and verified to meet certain requirements. Feeds can be verified for use in multiple programs, including: Non-Hormone Treated Cattle, Verified Natural, Non-GMO Project Verified, Organic Certification, and the GAP 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Program.

The number one reason an animal is not able to be approved for one of the programs named above is due to their consumption of a non-compliant feedstuff.  Many feeds in the marketplace today are labeled as Natural, but when it comes to these detailed program requirements, they often contain ingredients that do not comply.  Therefore, producers are often unknowingly misled when they purchase a “natural” feed and then during their audit find out it contains a prohibited substance and disqualifies their cattle.

This is why Feed Verified has become a valuable tool for producers.  The peace of mind it provides is paramount to their operational success.  You can see the complete list of Feed Verified products here, including Alltech’s featured feeds, the very first Feed Verified brand to enroll in the program. Stay tuned for more details on Alltech’s many programs!

Getting Involved

If you’re interested in becoming involved with Feed Verified or want more information you can email info@imiglobal.comor visit their website at www.imiglobal.com.  Where Food Comes From and IMI Global are dedicated to driving value and authenticity for both food producers and consumers.  Please be sure to follow us on our social networks to stay up to date on new and exciting programs.

Learn more about IMI Global’s Specialty Programs HERE.