The medical research is a massive boost to Verde Farms, which has announced a plan to get more Americans eating grass-fed beef. The American-based company is popular in the US for its approach to livestock management. Its cows live entirely on a grass-fed diet, rather than the far cheaper dry pellets and they do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilisers.
Meat-eaters in high-GDP nations are turning to ethically-sourced produce, as data published by Mintel on this website illustrates. This seismic shift in attitudes to meat is good news for Verde Farms, which has said the rising demand for grass-fed cattle has been the catalyst for a strong year of growth.
Verde Farms’ sales grew by 70% in 2014. As a result, the company has moved to a fancy new headquarters in Boston, quadrupled its workforce and redesigned its website making it ready for a self-predicted phase of growth.
Talking about the new horizons for grass-fed cattle, CEO and co-founder of Verde Farms Dana Ehrlich said: “I think [we’re] seeing a shift in how we think about beef here in the US. It’s not just about reducing meat consumption and depriving ourselves – it’s about eating better meat.
“The reason we’re seeing such success is because Verde Farms has always been committed to sourcing and delivering the best 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef products that are better across the board – better for consumers, better for the animals and better for the environment.”
Verde Farms has been running for a decade and primarily serves upmarket restaurants, caterers, and high-end medical facilities looking for healthier types of beef. It also provides meat for the 21 stores of Boston-based burrito chain Boloco.
Verde Farms plans to get more grass-fed beef on the tables of America via a marketing plan built upon three hot topics: consumer health, animal welfare and environmental sustainability.
And “consumers should expect to see a lot more from the Verde Farms brand in 2016”, added Ehrlich.
“We’re working towards a much stronger presence in multiple grocery aisles nationwide by developing a range of new products– from additional raw, ready-to-cook items to deli, frozen, and fresh ready-to-eat items as well.
“To meet demand, we’re in the process of expanding our imports from Uruguay, New Zealand and Australia, including some specialty import from Tasmania”.
Challenges still remain for Verde Farms and one of the biggest one is reaching customers who want “high-quality, grass-fed product, but don’t have access to it”, added Ehrlich.
Growth hormones 'never used'
So in the wake of the World Health Organization’s report linking red meat to cancer, the health benefits of grass-fed beef will be central to Verde Farms’ plan to attract new customers.
Medical research conducted by Mayo Clinic suggests grass-fed and grass-finished beef is lower in fat and calories than grain-fed varieties. It also has higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, more antioxidants like Vitamin E and more CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) — an essential fatty acid that is believed to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Verde Farms is a one of several US companies at the forefront of organic meat production. It works closely with family-run farms in places like Australia and Uruguay to support cows reared outside and fed on grass. Feedlots, grains, antibiotic or growth hormones – such as recombinant bovine somatotropin – are never used.