We often receive a magical question... Are your products organic??
The answer is short, but not so simple, and as with anything, nuanced.
From the beginning, back in '94, we've always had the focus of our 'As Nature Intended' (click here to read our blog 'Is 100% Grass Fed Good Enough?') filter through which we do everything; Raising, Harvesting, Processing. In order to be certified organic, there are some very stringent requirements, most of which are very, very good and a few that wander. Organic certification is actually fairly narrow-focused... There are organic certified CAFO (confined animal feeding operations, aka: feedlots and jam-packed confinement housing) operations for beef, milk, and poultry production. There are also organic certified pesticides, herbicides, & fungicides. (We're not intending to devalue anyone who is certified organic. Like anything, most do the bare minimum to 'qualify' and some do understand the deeper intentions of the regulations.) (Click here to read a blog we wrote called Our Top 8)
Our focus has always been what is best for land, animals, & people which is a more holistic, values-focused concept with complete transparency as our verification, or "certification", mechanism. Organic certification is expensive and, from our perspective, adds no real value to our products.
- Regenerative Raising practices with zero tolerance for pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers
- Honorable & Respectful harvest
- Obsessive control over our cleaning and lubrication agents in our processing facilities
set us apart and surpass the standards of organic at every stage.
Any feed supplements for our pork, chicken, & turkeys are all organic, 100% non-GMO & certified 100% glyphosate free as we actually test every batch of feed for glyphosate (herbicide) residue to ensure there is no cross-contamination from chemical application drifting or transportation. Our invasive species control in our pastures consist of hand tools or a mower, no chemicals. We and all of our fellow 'Northstar Approved' producers annually sign a producers affidavit that swears to our raising protocol on a legal level and that document is held on file with the Department of Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison, WI.
The short answer to the organic question is, no, we're not certified organic, but our products do far exceed organic standards. (Here's a great article by respected author Jo Robinson: Why Grass Fed is Better Than Organic) We do realize that some will only eat foods with an organic seal. In that case, we've considered certifying some products for added peace-of-mind but the price jumps up for those products due to the certification fees. As a general rule though for the foreseeable future, we're staying with our total transparency model to allow you to be our critic. Ultimately, we want you to be confident in the products you're getting from us. Ask any question, any time, and we'll give you an honest answer, every time.
Rules and regulation are easy to circumvent.
Trust is to be earned.