Dole & Bailey, a processor, butcher, and distributor of local meat and sustainable produce to chefs in the Northeast since 1868, is strengthening its brand with certification of its food processing, packing, and distribution systems by Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). This certification assures chefs, restaurants, and hotels that Dole & Bailey's handling, processing, and record-keeping procedures provide absolute traceability of Certified AWA food products, from the field right through to the plate.

As consumer interest in how food animals are raised continues to grow, many restaurants, hotels, and catering services are looking to source meat, eggs, and dairy products from local, sustainable family farms. But individual family farms can find it extremely difficult to offer the consistency of supply and exacting portion requirements of the food service industry. Likewise, in an increasingly confusing marketplace, busy chefs need to know they really are buying high-quality, sustainable ingredients from the kind of farms their customers want to support.

For almost 150 years, Dole & Bailey has provided a vital link between local farmers and the food service industry in the Northeast, acting as a food hub and farm gate for both local family farms and conscientious chefs. Working with Northeast Family Farms to source sustainably raised livestock directly from individual family-run farms, Dole & Bailey offers local farmers the opportunity to supply high-quality meat and livestock products into premium food service markets through their unique butchering, processing, and marketing services. At the same time, Dole & Bailey provides today's conscientious chefs with a fully transparent "one-stop-shop" for locally sourced and sustainably produced meat and other produce, ensuring complete confidence in not only the quality and consistency of supply, but also the integrity of any Certified AWA ingredient selected. And with their new AWA certification, Dole & Bailey can assure customers their handling, processing, and record-keeping procedures provide absolute traceability of any Certified AWA food product they offer.

Dole & Bailey President and CEO Nancy Matheson-Burns says,"At Dole & Bailey, we pride ourselves on being pioneers. We strive to be ahead of the industry and to exceed customers' expectations. Transparency is one of our guiding principles and the AWA label verifies that we practice what we preach. It also assures our clients the products we sell are not only 100% traceable, but that sourcing through our company preserves the Northeast's agricultural legacy and supports the revitalization of healthy, sustainable farming. We look forward to bringing even more Certified AWA farms on board to meet the growing demand for verifiably sustainable products."

Andrew Gunther, AWA Program Director, says, "With a remarkable 147-year history of providing a link between the local farmer and the chef, Dole & Bailey are foundational to the emerging sustainable food economy in the Northeast. In a food service industry that's dominated by faceless corporations and commodity-based supply chains, here we have a long-standing family-owned food distribution company that proves it is possible to work with individual independent family farms, and to offer true sustainability and full transparency to the food service industry at a reasonable scale.

"It's a testimony to AWA's standing that an organization as committed as Dole & Bailey saw AWA as a natural partner to validate their processing and distribution systems, and assure full transparency and integrity," he adds.

Source: AWA