The move has also led to the Midwest Organic Services Association certifying the processor as a handler under the USDA National Organic Program.
In its role as a handler, Chicago Meat Authority is required to have a program in place to ensure that organic products remain pure and are not cross-contaminated with non-organic products or prohibited substances.
According to the business, the organic requirements include the collection of information on the history of every animal, including the breed history, veterinary care and feed.
It added that the animals must also be raised on certified organic land that is not subject to most synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, sewage or genetic engineering for at least three years. Animals must also have outdoor access.
“We have expanded our certified organic program to include beef items, such as premium steaks, roasts and grinds,” said Chicago Meat Authority director of technical assurance Lisa Rabe. “We were previously certified for organic pork products and now are able to offer beef to our customers who want to offer a line of organic products. Our aim is to offer excellent options to meet all of our customers’ needs today and in the future, including clean labels, grass-fed and grass-finished options.”
Chicago Meat Authority, founded in 1990, has a facility covering over 80,000ft2. The company produces sales of U$125 million per year and sells to the hotel, restaurant and institutional markets, as well as meat purveyors and multi-unit regional and national chains.
The business also specialises in custom cuts for further processors, including grinding operations, deli manufacturers and the meat snacks market.