In August, Bon Appétit made yet another sweeping change in our meat supply chain that no other food service has come close to attempting: we now require all chefs to serve only ground beef and hamburger patties from suppliers that have met the strict standards of one of four independent animal-welfare organizations.
Fedele Bauccio, CEO and cofounder of Bon Appétit Food Management, is spearheading the movement towards humanely-raised ground beef. Most meat organizations, he explained, rely solely on government oversight and self-regulation, a standard that, in his opinion, “doesn’t really work.”
Instead, he believes that the company should focus on animal welfare as a way to promote sustainability and consumer health, noting that there is much less concern about foodborne illness among humanely-raised cattle.
In 2011, roughly a third of Bon Appétit’s ground beef purchases had already been certified as humanely-raised by either the Global Animal Partnership, Animal Welfare Approved, Humane Farm Animal Care, or the Food Alliance.
Starting this year, Bon Appétit will be sourcing the rest from Colorado-based Meyer Natural Angus, which has been certified by Humans Farm Animal Care as traceable from “birth to slaughter,” with random spot inspections along the way.
Beef purchases from small, local producers registered in our Farm to Fork program will still be accepted. “We need companies like Bon Appétit Management Company to lead the way so we can grow the supply of humanely raised beef,” says Adele Douglass, founder and CEO of Humans Farm Animal Care.
For more information, visit Humane Farm Animal Care’s website at http://www.certifiedhumane.org/.