Olympia Provisions Pork Sourcing Information
Where does our pork currently come from?
We source our pork from the following farms:
- Deck Family Farms (Junction City, OR) GAP 4
- Malheur River Meats (Vale, OR) GAP 4
- Coleman Natural (North Carolina) WF minimum
- Heritage Foods (various locations, SE USA) WF minimum
- Pederson’s (Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska) GAP 1
- Field Gate Organics (Canada) GAP 1
100% of our pork is antibiotic and hormone free, and comes from 3rd party audited farms. While these farms are located throughout the United States, we have spent the last several years creating a local northwest farmer network.
We’re proud to announce that by the end of 2021, at least 25% of our pork will arrive from this new NW Farmer Network! Deck Family Farms, Malheur River Farms, Hangbelly and Pure Country are the first four local northwest farms to sign onto our new network. The hogs from these independent family farms are all GAP Certified, and we’re able to purchase the entire animal from their operations, making it more sustainable for their businesses, their land and the future of Oregon pork production. We’re partnering with Oregon’s legendary Carlton Farms who have an amazing track record in certified humane animal processing. They are SQF certified and are elemental to the success of this new sourcing model.
We expect 75% of our pork to come from the Northwest Farmer Network by 2023.
Requirements for the OP NW Farmer Network:
- GAP Certified Level 3 (Outdoor access required, outdoor area maintained with a minimum 25% vegetative cover, wallows/sprinklers/showers required, no tail docking, teeth clipping or de-tusking, minimum weaning age of 42 days, no more than 25% slatted floors inside).
- Must operate within Oregon, Washington, Idaho or Northern California to qualify as Northwest.
- Must be able to sell the entire animal to Olympia Provisions
- Farms must be independently owned and operated
- Farms must be operationally transparent
- Olympia Provisions has direct contracts with each farm, and ongoing communication
The pigs we source from our local NW Farmer Network are able to access the outdoors and engage in a cage-free environment. The majority of the pigs from this network are fully pasture-raised.
Current Farmer Network:
Deck Family Farms (GAP 4)
Malheur River Meats (GAP 4)
Pure Country (finalizing audit for GAP 3)
As we move toward our goal of 75% of our hogs coming from our NW Farmer Network, our minimum standards are for all hogs to be certified GAP or meet Whole Foods minimum standards.
What is GAP (Global Animal Partnership) certification?
Our preferred and the foundation of our NW Farmer Network, this certification has multiple levels because they believe “Pig farms vary significantly depending on geography and climate.” But no matter the level of verification, all GAP certified farms:
- do not use farrowing crates or gestation stalls
- never use antibiotics
- never add hormones
- never use animal by-products
- are audited by a 3rd party every 15 months
- To see every level of GAP certification, visit their website: https://globalanimalpartnership.org/standards/pig/
What are Whole Foods minimum standards?
Whole Foods Standards: Heritage Farms
For pig farming, Whole Foods minimum standard farms:
- Vegetarian fed diet
- Antibiotic free and never ever administered antibiotics
- Weaning age of over 21 days
- Prohibits teeth clipping and tail docking
- Prohibits use of farrowing and gestation crates
- No more than 25% slatted floors
Why aren’t we sourcing 100% locally?
The short of it; we’re on our way! When we started over a decade ago, we did all we could to source from local farms with farmers we knew. As we grew, the supply of Pacific Northwest Hogs did not support our demand. Even though not each of our farms is local, we have a goal to have 75% of our hogs coming from our local NW farmer network by the end of 2023.
What’s our vision for the future?
Our vision for the future of our sourcing is that our farmers will use pigs as a way to improve the environment, pigs are a way for farmer’s to find profitability in their business, and pigs will be the path to growing our local agriculture system and decentralizing the meat industry. In the next 5 years we will partner with these farmers to fix a very broken industry by setting up systems to help coordinate affordable transportation between hog operations and slaughter, setting up financials models that can be used to analyze and lower costs, educating on how to use pigs to regenerate the land, and by paying the farmer a premium by purchasing the entire pig. It is our responsibility to then use that entire animal and honor this system that we believe will change the food industry forever.
What motivates our vision?
A lot of people can come out and say they have a vision to make the world a better place, but we want you to know what is driving our vision.
- Animal Husbandry: Studies have shown that animals raised in confinement heighten the risk of spreading food-borne illnesses. This creates the potential for real global human crises, like pandemics. Studies also show confinement causes anxiety and stress in the animal, causing hormones to enter the body that can dramatically impact post-production quality.
- Environmental Impact: Today, pig farming practices found in most of America play major roles in poor air and water quality, which impacts surrounding communities. Waste and byproducts from pig production can secrete into local waterways, while large amounts of nitrogen from waste can impact soil and air quality. Most factory farms push this waste into large lagoons, which can become cesspools and severely impact community health. Rarely is the entire animal utilized in pork production, resulting in massive waste.
- Antibiotic Impact: In large and industrial hog operations, antibiotics are used to keep pigs alive in unsanitary conditions. The animals are pumped with antibiotics at a very young age. After animals are pumped with these antibiotics, they can develop deadly bacteria called MRSA, which is drug resistant. MRSA can also greatly impact community health.
We see these three motivators as the things we work within every day to change. The pork industry is massive, and has been excused for its mistakes for years. We believe that with a system that certifies the correct farming and slaughter practices, the industry can be changed.