The New York Times recently reported that Perdue is making changes in how they raise chickens. They will overhaul animal welfare practices, making their plants more humane to give the birds better lives. It’s good to see one of the largest chicken producers in the nation talking about changes, however small they may be.
At D’Artagnan we have been advocates of humane animal husbandry for over 30 years. We have always supported and partnered with small farms that actually raise animals the most humane way, without antibiotics or added hormones, and at a slower pace. We’ve been doing this since day one. In fact, our organic chicken was the first on the market – before the USDA had clear protocols in place for organic labeling.
Check out Eater’s article and interview with Ariane on this subject, excerpted below.
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Ariane Daguin, CEO and founder of D’Artagnan (an organic meat purveyor), says the labels slapped on meat have become diluted over time, largely due to the influence of the meat lobby. “Big factory farmers that say they produce organic chicken today often simply buy ‘organic’ grain from China — which isn’t even organic by U.S. standards. They can also tout that chickens have access to the outside — but it’s usually one little door for 100,000 chickens.”
Daguin says the labels are confusing for consumers and “infuriating” for a company like D’Artagnan, which sells organic products at a higher price point than companies like Perdue. Though D’Artagnan and Perdue products might have similar labels, Daguin says her company holds its processes to a higher standard. “When people read the word ‘organic,’ the perception is that it’s a small family farm and the growers respect the animals,” she says. “I wish I could put, ‘more organic than the other guy’ on my product. Labels don’t necessarily mean the same thing for me and for Mr. Perdue, I guess.”