Today (April 22) is Earth Day, which generally means one thing: Major companies in the United States turns the logos on their social media accounts green and talk about how sustainable they are. That’s great for tech companies and sports leagues and the like, but they are not tied as closely to the land as the meat and poultry industry is. Sustainability can’t be a once-a-year discussion in this market.
Honestly, the animal agriculture industry has so much to discuss when it comes to sustainability and environmentalism, Earth Day should be celebrated regularly, not once a year. Within the last months, several initiatives have been made to increase sustainable grassland for organic meats. Cargill, Bell & Evans and Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats have all partnered with organizations like the National Audubon Society and Rodale Group as a part of these initiatives.
The small and mid-sized companies in the industry can and have been doing their part as well. Regenerative animal agriculture may someday be part of the purview of the largest corporations, but smaller companies like White Oak Pastures are the ones who are at the forefront of the movement. Grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chicken, as well as locally raised pork and beef, are well within the sweet spots for small processors. Consumers who have spent the past year learning more about the meat supply chain than they probably ever wanted are familiar with local meat markets, mail-order meats and direct-from-producer sales. If they were impressed with the taste and the quality of their niche meat purchases, they will stick with their sources as the economy opens up – particularly if they can get an environmental feel-good moment while placing their orders.
Don’t wait until April 22 to talk about how your company and its products are environmentally friendly. Do it all the year round. It should be a part of your websites and social media posts. The meat industry can be a big part of a green future, and your customers should know it.