Niman Ranch, a producer of sustainably and humanely raised gourmet meats, has expanded its network of independently owned U.S. farms and ranches to more than 700.
To ensure consistency of product, Niman Ranch’s sustainable farming protocols have become more stringent since the company began nearly four decades ago. Despite this, the company has steadily grown from 400 independently owned farms just five years ago to 700-plus today -- a 75 percent increase. Accompanying this expansion have been the addition of a cage-free egg program last year, which saw 26 egg farmers join the network, and an East Coast hog program launched last month, which added 20 new farms in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New York.
Niman Ranch works with individual family farmers and ranchers in more than 26 states who have agreed to raise livestock according to strict sustainable and humane protocols developed under the direction of animal-handling expert and Colorado State University professor Temple Grandin. All network farmers and ranchers are paid a premium to adhere to the protocols.
“In 1972, the term ‘sustainability’ wasn’t making headlines, yet Niman Ranch founded a company based on the belief that raising livestock according to traditional agriculture practices was better for the land, the animals and the farmers,” said Jeff Tripician, chief marketing officer at the Alameda, Calif.-based company. “Nearly 40 years later, this founding philosophy has allowed Niman Ranch to positively impact the livelihood of more than 700 independently owned U.S. farmers, their families and their rural communities.”
With demand for its “never-ever” meats -- as in never, ever treated with hormones or antibiotics – on the rise, Niman Ranch depends on its partnerships with family farmers to bring the highest-quality beef, pork and lamb to market coast to coast.