If Applegate is truly for transparency, why don’t you list all the companies who produce your products?
That’s a fair point, and it’s something we’re looking into putting on our website. Historically, we shied away from disclosing all of our co-processors and packers because we were a small, growing company and didn’t want to risk divulging that information to competitors. We use many partners to make our products, but no matter who the manufacturer, please know the standards are Applegate standards: meat and poultry from animals raised humanely and without antibiotics, no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Until we get our processors’ information on-line, you can download an app or go to the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service website to find out where any meat or poultry product is produced by entering the USDA establishment number: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/mpidirectory
. All animal agriculture products have a USDA establishment number, which traces back to the plant where the product was manufactured. Here’s a link on finding the USDA establishment number: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/how-to-find-the-usda-establishment-number/how-to-find-the-usda-establishment-number
Applegate talks a lot about your network of farms. Why don’t you list all your farmers and suppliers on your website?
We often spotlight some our partner farmers on videos on our website and YouTube channel and are actually filming more videos now. The reason we don’t list all of our farm suppliers is because the network changes – we are always evaluating and adding new suppliers. We started with only about 10 farms more than 28 years ago and now have more than 2,500. Another reason we don’t share too much farmer information is that the market for antibiotic-free and organic meat and poultry is highly competitive. And while we don’t share the names of every one of our farmers, we’re proud to tell you that all of our poultry is third-party certified by GAP and more than 95 percent of our pork is third-party verified by Certified Humane or GAP. You can find more information on their websites: http://certifiedhumane.org/
The vast majority of Applegate pork is GAP 1 rated. All of our broilers are GAP 2 and all our turkey is GAP 1. Some farms are not third-party certified and are in transition from conventional to our antibiotic-free and humane standards and are audited by trained Applegate staff. Applegate uses its own full-time staff who have been trained through the Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization (PAACO) program on humane standards to insure humane animal husbandry practices are followed. All our grass-fed beef, which comes from Australia, is 100 percent pasture raised. In addition to the third-party certification, Applegate has standards for all species – poultry, pork and beef – and the standards cover the entire life of the animal from breeding to slaughter. These standards were developed through consultation with animal husbandry experts and guidelines verified by third-party groups. If suppliers are found to be in violation of our third-party certifier’s or our own standards, we demand corrective action or the supplier risks being removed from our program.
If you use Certified Humane, why aren’t you on their website?
Applegate isn’t listed on Certified Humane’s website because we no longer partner with them directly to audit farms, partially because Whole Foods has made Global Animal Partnership (GAP) its standard. However, we do continue to purchase meat and poultry from farmers and suppliers who are part of the Certified Humane network. For instance, Applegate sources pork from farms in Quebec, Canada and turkey from farms in Pennsylvania, and they are listed on Certified Humane’s website.