For shepherding meat production at every stage.
In the sustainable-food world, few people dream bigger than Anya Fernald: Her three-year-old operation raises, slaughters, processes, butchers, and sells 90,000 pounds of meat from 12 species annually. She learned that "vertical integration is a part of high-quality food" while studying cheese making in Europe.
"If I spend all of my energy making a beautiful cheese," she says, "and the truck transporting it is warm, it won't taste good." Her company started with 8,000 acres of California land and a single butcher shop; it now has more than 20,000 acres, and by the end of 2014 will have opened six shops across the state. "I want to help people see meat as a new luxury," she says. This is her process:
- 1. Her "low-stress animal handling" intervenes minimally in animals' natural behavior.
- 2. The farm grows grass, grains, and beans for the animals to graze on.
- 3. Belcampo's processing facility features humane holding pens designed by Temple Grandin.
- 4. Processing is done by hand, and packages are marked to trace the meat back to the animal.
- 5. Belcampo compares its butchers to bartenders, with whom customers can have a personal bond.