We’re proud to celebrate the farmers in our cooperative who have dedicated their lives to bringing the highest quality products to our consumers, but we’re often asked - what about your processing team and methods?
With our processing - there aren’t any dirty secrets - just dedicated employees, the highest quality standards and a community built on integrity. Our Chief Processing Officer, Andy Shaw, is a passionate butcher by trade who leads the way to ensuring that our processing employees are happy and healthy and that our animals are being processed humanely.
Here are three ways owning and operating our own processing facilities helps us achieve our mission of real meat, raised and processed right.
1. Our Butchers Are Professionals
Compared to the couple thousand of employees you would find in an industrial facility, we only have around 10 to 50 employees in our facility depending on the location. Our butchers are artisans and are experienced on the retail level. Most of our employees have worked in markets or shops and have a deep understanding of the industry prior to joining the team at Grass Roots. They are committed to getting quality products to our customers and take the craft seriously.
For our processing employees this is more than just a job, they want to be a part of something bigger where they can utilize their craft and skills.
2. It’s Not Just a Job, It’s a Career
Our processing centers start by hiring the right people who are a culture fit for the company. Culture is an important part of the value chain and we pride ourselves in our low turnover rate (around 18%) compared to industrial processing facilities (around 200%). Most of our employees who work at our processing facility grew up with the people they work with and are integral parts in their communities or farmers themselves.
We also provide extensive in-house training for all processing employees for guaranteed integrity throughout the value chain. For our employees, this isn’t a line position this is a trade and skill set they will take with them beyond Grass Roots.
3. Food Safety & Animal Welfare
Our processing employees have great relationships with our farmers who trust them to do things right. With transparency to the entire processing chain, our employees are there when the animals arrive, shake hands with the farmers when they are delivered and harvest for our customers - so they’re invested in the welfare of each animal.
With smaller facilities with less employees, process control becomes much easier. If there are issues, we can address them immediately and the right way. For example, when we’re looking to reduce bacteria count we can pick the issue up in processing and address it in real time with our employees. Most industrial companies don’t have that ability and often end up adding more chemicals to the process to solve the issue instead of addressing it with integrity.
Celebrating Our Processing Employees
There are many reasons to celebrate our processing employees for what they do! At Grass Roots we are committed to transparency throughout the entire value chain and want our customers to feel confident that they’re getting a quality product made with passion, integrity and skill.
If you have specific questions about our processing practices, please reach out to our customer support team who can get you in touch with the right person, additional resources are also listed below.