Certified Piedmontese Emphasizes Transparency At Every Step
There’s no doubt terminology like farm-to-fork and humanely raised is becoming more and more pervasive in the food industry. To establish accuracy and credibility, these terms must be backed by step-by-step transparency that lets consumers know exactly where and how their food is produced. Long before it became trendy, Certified Piedmontese made transparency a top priority, and continues to make sure customers know exactly where and how their beef is raised. Consumers have the right to ask questions and find information about the foods they eat; Certified Piedmontese welcomes this inquiry.
A Verified Story
Cattle that are part of the Certified Piedmontese program have a documented story that begins centuries ago in Northwest Italy, where the animals were first raised by Italian ranchers nestles along the southern border of the majestic Alps. Descending from an ancient breed of European cattle, the Piedmontese breed’s history is steeped in the rich food, wine, and culture of the Piedmont region of Italy. Arriving in the United States in the 1980s, the cattle now graze the rolling plains of Nebraska, where they’re raised and cared for by family ranchers local to the region.
The Certified Piedmontese program operates on a much smaller scale in comparison to commodity beef, which has allowed ranchers and cattle procurement specialists to implement a state-of-the-art traceability system that tracks the health and well-being of each and every animal. Because the cattle are never passed from one producer to another, we’re able to track every animal from birth to harvest. Every animal receives an EID (electronic identification) tag, so the growth, health, nutrition, and overall history of each animal are catalogued for the most efficient and effective monitoring, managing, and herd health improvement. The software and tracking program effectively function as a reference, so ranchers know each animal’s story, and can provide care based on its unique needs.
Tracking Health & Well-Being
Great Plains Beef, working in conjunction with Lone Creek Cattle Company (responsible for live procurement operations), manages a number of family-operated ranches responsible for caring for Certified Piedmontese calves from birth. Certified Piedmontese clearly defines the standards under which the cattle are raised, prohibiting the use of antibiotics at any time. If an animal is sick, it receives treatment, but is promptly removed from the Certified Piedmontese program. A higher level of management encourages the healthiest, most comfortable conditions, so cattle rarely get sick in the first place. Certified Piedmontese cattle are also never administered hormones, which artificially accelerate the growth of cattle and contradict the ethical standards the program is built upon. Diligent records and third-party audits ensure the cattle are raised the way nature intended, so the beef you’re eating is raised carefully and responsibly for a healthy and delicious end product.
The tenderness and quality of Certified Piedmontese beef depends not only on the diligent care provided by ranchers, but also the DNA structure of Piedmontese cattle, which provides a premium tenderness despite the notable lack of intramuscular fat upon which most beef relies for tenderness. To ensure each animal inherits the natural genetic code responsible for producing the unparalleled benefits of Certified Piedmontese beef, each animal is DNA tested by an independent laboratory before entering the program. The EID tag of each animal is then cross-referenced to contain laboratory results from the DNA sample analysis, which confirms the unique Piedmontese gene.
To substantiate the integrity of Certified Piedmontese processes, and ensure transparency at every step, Certified Piedmontese maintains process verification through IMI Global, an accredited source for third-party verification of food production practices. Its objective is to evaluate specific practices and attributes associated with livestock production, and provide an unbiased assessment through regular audits and records. IMI Global is a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc., which certifies the accuracy and consistency of Certified Piedmontese’s source-verification and traceability program.
Consumers have every right to ask questions and get straight, transparent answers. In the end, it comes down to a commitment to accountability and tracking every step of production from start to finish for the health of the cattle, quality of the end product, and peace of mind of the consumer.