We work closely with the farmers who raise the pigs we buy to develop standards and protocols for the animals in their care. It is very important to us that all of the pork we use comes from suppliers who subscribe to humane practices. To us, this means:
- All pigs must have access to the out-of-doors, have room to move around and socially congregate, and be able to root in deep bedding. This respects the pigs’ social instincts and natural behaviors.
- Pigs must not receive non-therapeutic antibiotics, ionophores, hormones, or synthetic hormones. Our farmers can treat illnesses, but they do not use hormones or antibiotics to artificially promote growth.
- Pigs may not be fed animal byproducts, which helps avoid numerous health and environmental problems.
- We use no pigs from CAFOs (large animal confinement facilities).
All of our suppliers adhere to these protocols. It is not sustainable agriculture if they go out of business, so instead of commodity market-based pricing, we work on a negotiated, "fair trade" style price. The farmers determine how much they need to be paid for their pigs to make a reasonable profit, then how much to charge for the different parts we use. That's what we pay. Swings in the commodity market can be ruinous, especially for smaller growers; this way, we work with farmers and farmer-owned marketing companies to insulate the farmers from these risks.
Here are some of the fantastic producers we are lucky to work with:
Heritage Farms, Osage County, MO
This Missouri-based farmer-owned company produces the Berkshire pork for our Americano offerings according to these demanding standards. Later weaning, vegetarian feed, no antibiotics, no crates or cages, deep bedding, and space to root and roam. We will soon be offering cured meats from Heritage Farms Berkshire pork that is verified pasture assisted production (GAP 3) by the Global Animal Partnership and fed only GMO free feed.
We use heritage-breed Tamworth pork to make Tamworth Smoked Pancetta and Tamworth Prosciutto. The Tamworth pigs come from four farms in Osage County, Missouri. Russ Kremer, Glenn Backes, Mike Buscher, and Bob Street raise their animals in pasture-based systems, using the hillsides of the Ozark Mountains. Their animal husbandry is outstanding and meets the Step 3 standards of the Global Animal Partnership.
Russ Kremer raises our Acorn Tamworth hogs. For the last three-four months of their lives, these pigs forage freely in a fruiting oak and hickory forest. An estimated 60-75% of their diet consists of acorn and hickory nuts. This gives Russ an sustainable way to make use of the wooded hillsides on his property, the pigs a happy life, and their meat an incredible depth and richness. Russ' program is rated Step 4 by the Global Animal Partnership
We buy our verified pasture raised pork (Global Animal Partnership Step 4 rated) from this family program in Southeast Missouri. We've worked with Jack Whisnant and his family since 2014, building our collaboration steadily.
Comprising over 650 independent farmers and ranchers, this subsidiary of Perdue Farms is a source of pork for our Americano varietal. All Niman producers have agreed to follow these standards of humane treatment.