Is Morris Grassfed Beef “Organic”?
The grass is certified organic! Although the ranches we manage are certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), our beef is not. We are GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified by IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc., and in compliance with Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating Standard.
Organic certification for our beef would require that our small, family-owned butchers be certified organic. Rather than devote valuable time & funds to certification, they focus on being the best butchers they can be. We can assure you they are immaculate and we take Quality Control (QC) seriously with regular on-site visits to each butcher. Our butchers are USDA certified. We rely on direct relationships with our customers to certify our processes. We are transparent. You can ask us directly about how we raise our animals and we are happy to share that information with you. We also invite you to our Annual Field Day to meet our team and see the land and animals.
We call it “First Person Certified” and invite you to audit us anytime.
For the record
For the record:
- Our animals are fed no grain, nor are they given hormones.
- They are raised and finished on grass, in open pastures along California’s Central Coast.
- They do not need, and are never given, sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
- They are never put into feedlots.
- We are GAP Certified and in compliance with the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards.
- We are members of the American Grassfed Association (AGA), which adheres to strict standards that verify the animals’ diet and humane treatment. We are regularly audited by the AGA, whose standards can be found at: http://www.americangrassfed.org/about-us/our-standards/
Our practice regarding animal health is:
1.) Prevent health problems with good nutrition, clean habitat and proper and low-stress handling methods;
2.) Use alternative therapies when possible; and,
3.) If antibiotics are needed at all after the animal is weaned at seven months of age, the animal is removed from our grassfed program immediately and not sold as Morris Grassfed Beef. We do supplement their diet with a small bit of alfalfa during their second summer.
We are also members of the Grassfed Alliance, a group of authentic grassfed producers who adhere to standards that uphold the following principles:
- Require 100% grass or forage based diet for the entire life of an animal
- Do not use partial grassfed claims
- Provide animals with continuous access to pasture or rangeland
- Do not confine animals or finish in feedlots
- Do not use drugs in healthy animals, including antibiotics and hormones, for non-therapeutic purpose
- Ensure the ‘five freedoms’ for basic animal welfare, including freedom 1) from hunger and thirst, 2) from discomfort, 3) from pain, injury or disease, 4) to express normal behavior, and 5) from fear and distress
- Restrict incidental supplementation
- Minimize use of synthetic fertilizers and industrial pesticides
- Provide transparency of animal origin, processing, and final product composition
- Are verified through third-party, on-farm inspections on an annual basis including different seasons
Finally, managed in a herd as they are, our animals can fill their natural ecological niche, maintaining the health of the land with their every step. Certified organic cattle can live in a barn, as long as they are fed organic feed and have “access” to grass. That’s not how we do it. We believe our practices honor the land and the animals in ways that industrial agriculture does not and cannot, and therefore, that our standards actually reach, in important ways, beyond those of “organic.”