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It’s that time of year again!  You’ve just finished your Thanksgiving meal, you’re exhausted, and you can’t even imagine eating another meal, yet you know that in a few short weeks you’ll be doing it all over again for December holidays.  Well, we’d like to give you some things to consider next week while you’re picking out chicken thighs for your grandma’s soup recipe or selecting the perfect steaks for the family members who are craving something different than turkey again.  Many of the meats you might consider will have many claims on their packaging to help you make a more informed decision.

Over the last decade, utilization of terms like “raised with care,” “farm fresh,” or “natural” have increased on meat packaging; because of this, consumers have begun questioning what these claims mean.  Many customers know little about where their food comes from.  What kind of care did that animal actually receive? Where did the animal sleep, how tightly packed were they and what did their diet consist of?  What steps were taken to ensure proper handling and transporting of that food?

That’s where we come in.   Where Food Comes From offers third-party verification services to hundreds of claims, programs, and markets. This includes claims that you are probably familiar with like Organic Certification, the Non-GMO Project, and Gluten Free as well as programs that you may not be familiar with like Safe Quality Food Initiatives and other process verified programs.  So, what is the real difference between verified and unverified claims by food producers?

First, let’s take a look at a two of the most common claims that we see on our meat packaging today.

Humanely Raised– There are no defined legal definition for this nor are there agreed specific standards on what the term “humane” should actually represent.

 

No Hormones or Hormone Free– It’s important to note that every chicken processing plant could utilize this claim regardless of other conditions because USDA bans the use of hormones in all chicken production. It is also important to note that this doesn’t necessarily provide you the entire story about the chickens living conditions and/or health because it is not an animal welfare focused claim.

The terms food companies use, like the ones mentioned above, can seem a little misleading and are the statements alone are not validated by transparent third-party verification steps.  However, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from seeking out information about food claims that can be verified. Educating yourself is the first step to making more informed food choices for you and your family.

A few labels that are focused around animal welfare that are third-party verified include American Humane, Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 5-Step Animal Welfare Review and Validus Animal Welfare Review.

Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Review –  this program defines animal welfare as 3 overlapping components – health and productivity, natural living and emotional well-being.  By defining animal welfare, it helped them identify and improve farming and ranching systems and practices. The program is tiered in a 5-Step system.

 

American Humane Certified – this program provides third-party, independent audits to help verify that certified producers’ care and handling of farm animals meet the science-based animal welfare standards of American Humane Association.  The program provides ongoing outreach to farmers in the implementation of the best humane practices for animals.

 

Validus Animal Welfare Review – this program is awarded to farms that follow strict guidelines concerning the ways and conditions in which animals are raised for meat, dairy and swine. The farms that receive this certification undergo a detailed assessment and audit of their on-farm practices.  To see specifically what gets evaluated on farm, you can view the standard online.

So, when you go to the grocery store next week, take an extra second or two to check out the claims on packages.  Look for claims that are verified.  If you find yourself questioning a claim you can head on over to our site to check out some of the other verification and certification programs we offer our services for.

Remember, verification matters!

It’s All About The Label

Non-GMO Project, USDA Organic, Gluten-Free, how do I know these animals were raised humanly – does this list of qualities sound familiar? If so, you’re probably trying to decipher the certification seals on your food products. The main thing about understanding a food verification label is knowing what to look for.  Once you’ve accomplished that it’s easier to make more specific choices for you and your family and they’ll be choices you know you can trust.  So, do you ever wonder “where does my food come from?”

If so, great news – you’re in the right spot!  Where Food Comes From is ramping up our effort to take you on a weekly journey of discovery, bridging the gap between farm and fork.  While we pride ourselves as being the most trusted third-party verification company and also a unique labeling program, we also realize there is a need to help consumers understand what labels mean for them and their family.  How do we truly help connect consumers to the food they eat like never before? Well, we are here to put your mind at ease and accurately tell you the story behind where your food comes from because, well, verification matters!

Let’s begin with our Where Food Comes From® Source Verified label.  Every product with our label has gone through an extensive audit and verification process to ensure the products are traceable back to the families that produced them.  You deserve to know where your food comes from just like they do.  Over the coming weeks and months, we will tell you some of their stories mixed with some insightful, and hopefully interesting, information about the food products that carry our label.   We’re not your ordinary label – we’re much more.

94% Consumers Indicated They Associated a Positive Emotion/Trait with The Where Food Comes From ® Label.    

                              – Where Food Comes From® Consumer Feedback 

As a consumer, you’re passionate about food more than ever, which ultimately leads to greater expectations.  Consumers like you need to know that Where Food Comes From approved companies and ranches have your best interest at heart when it comes to producing, processing and the transporting of your food.  This is why we partner with multiple brands, stores, and restaurants to share their authentic stories.

Get a jumpstart on putting your family’s 2019 lifestyle into action by following our weekly blogs and social media channels as we begin tackling common consumer questions – and if you have a question, reach out to us at socialmedia@wherefoodcomesfrom.com and we’ll do our best to get it answered.  Remember, every meal has a story, and we look forward to helping you discover them!

 

 

Certified American Grown Celebrates 4th Anniversary!

Certified American Grown celebrated its 4th anniversary this month, which coincided with American Grown Flowers Month, which was promoted at over 1,200 stores across the country!  CAG continues to see dramatic growth as it now represents over half of the domestic cut flower and foliage production.  Where Food Comes From has been the exclusive verification partner for CAG since August 2017 and we are excited for what the future holds.

Check out Certified American Grown’s most recent press release, and learn more about their upcoming award-winning Field to Vase Dinner Tours here.

 

Where Food Comes From Customers Honored at Whole Foods Market Sixth Annual Supplier Awards

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – April 25, 2018 – Where Food Comes From, Inc. (OTCQB: WFCF), the most trusted resource for independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America, today announced that six of the Company’s verification customers were honored by Whole Foods Market at the grocer’s sixth annual Supplier Awards.

Miller Poultry, a long-time WFCF customer, was named Global Supplier of the Year for its visionary approach to animal welfare and its commitment to raising high quality, healthy chickens.  WFCF provides Miller Poultry with verification services for Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rated and Where Food Comes From Source Verified.

Other WFCF customers winning awards include Lotus Foods for Environmental Stewardship, Hearst Ranch Beef for Southern Pacific Region Supplier of the Year, Diestel Family Ranch for Northern California Region Supplier of the Year, Country Natural Beef for Service & Partnership, and Kuli Kuli for Women-Led Entrepreneurship.  WFCF provides verification services for these producers ranging from Organic and Non-GMO Project to Global Animal Partnership and Verified Natural.

Continued. . .

Six New Farms Earn Certified American Grown Certification

Six new flower farms have recently officially become Certified American Grown, joining a cadre of 45 certified farms nationwide. These farms vary in size and in the varieties of flowers they grow, from small urban flower farm to a large greenhouse farm that propagates 90 percent of the nation’s gerberas.

The newly certified farms are:

Earning recognition as Certified American Grown helps retailers, wholesalers and florists connect their customers with flowers grown right here in the United States and tells customers that the flowers they’re bringing home or giving as gifts were grown, bouqued or bunched by American flower farmers.

Flower farmer Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm & Flower grows garden roses and specialty flowers, including tulips and dahlias. She sought out certification because she believes it’s important for people to know where their flowers are coming from and how they’re grown.

Alvarez finds today’s consumers are in tune with the origin-matters message and are telling floral designers they prefer local, seasonal flowers. And in her experience, they appreciate knowing there’s an American farmer behind the blooms.

She’s also a fan of the advocacy that Certified American Grown provides around trade, taxes and agriculture in general.

“These all affect me, so I benefit from the advocacy work and I appreciate that my involvement, even as a small farm, can help push the needle.”

Novelty flower grower Carlos Cardoza of CamFlor sought out certification at the urging of some of his top clients who felt it would be a complement to his California Grown status.

Continued. . .

Cargill Adds WFCF, Inc. Canada as Auditing Body

Cargill adds Where Food Comes From, Inc. Canada as auditing body for its Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot

CASTLE ROCK, Colo., March 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Where Food Comes From, Inc. (WFCF) (OTCQB:WFCF), the most trusted resource for independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America, today announced it has been selected by Cargill as an auditing body for Cargill’s Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration Pilot program. Cargill is a long-time customer for WFCF in the United States.

Cargill’s pilot was launched to test and validate the audit and traceability systems necessary for the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework established by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). The program includes cattle producers that want to demonstrate the sustainability of their operations.

“We are delighted that Where Food Comes From, Inc. Canada has been selected as a certification partner,” said Leann Saunders, President of WFCF. “As a company, we verify over 5,000 beef producers in North America with the goal to help supply chains improve processes, bundle certifications and add value. We gained deep expertise as the sole verification partner for the 2014-2016 McDonald’s Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot and look forward to applying this knowledge as a certifier for the CBSA pilot.”

Cargill’s pilot tests the methodology for tracking eligible cattle through audited live animal supply chains and the methodology for tracking resulting supply chain sustainability certifications from the beef carcass to finished products. This coupling of live cattle and beef product traceability allows Cargill’s Canadian customers to demonstrate the sustainability of their supply chains and creates the opportunity for future sustainability claims once the CRSB’s framework is complete. For more information about the pilot visit: http://cbsapilot.ca.

About Cargill


Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 155,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.

Where Food Comes From Magazine Issue 2 Released!

Where Food Comes From launches its second issue of their magazine!

This issue features long-time customer, Miller Poultry.  Miller Poultry was founded in 1992.  They’ve grown from processing 16,000 chickens weekly to now processing 35,000 chickens per day.  Miller Poultry has a great relationship with the local Amish and Mennonite communities.  These communities serve as their suppliers, which they believe is one of the things that sets them apart.  The Amish ethic is so ingrained in what defines Miller Poultry.  You’ll find out more of the history and the trendsetting qualities that Miller Poultry possesses in this feature article.

Similarly, you’ll get to know one of our beef producers, Jerry Wulf.  Mr. Wulf owns Wulf Cattle, a beef company that owns a herd of 1,200 registered cows.  Wulf says that as a company, they get excited about connecting the industry and the beef supply chain.  They are all about building relationships, building a better product and being transparent.

Christina Dockter, ICS employee, is also featured.  Christina says the most satisfying part of her job is watching the producers grow, and also how ICS has grown.  She feels a sense of pride when she sees a consumer buy a product with their label on it.

Besides that, you’ll discover Thanksgiving recipes and how the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) improves the lives of animals.  Also included are facts about the food and wine industry.

Find the magazine online at here, or email us to add you to our mailing list.

Where Food Comes From Magazine, Issue 2