SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on the heels of the White House calling on food companies, retailers, and human and animal health stakeholders to commit to antibiotic stewardship, the Organic Trade Association and California agricultural leaders met at the State Capitol to acknowledge the influence of California's food producers, including leading poultry producer Foster Farms, in mainstreaming antibiotic-free and organic poultry options.
Bill Mattos, President of the California Poultry Federation opened with remarks on the significant advancements Foster Farms has contributed to the poultry industry over time and highlighted a statement issued by Senator Dianne Feinstein this morning: "By committing to adopt FDA's judicious antibiotic use policies, Foster Farms demonstrates that industry can be part of the solution to decrease antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Foster Farms is also going further by eliminating the use of certain antibiotics that are considered critically important to human health and offering consumers a line of antibiotic-free chicken products."
Earlier this week, the family-owned poultry producer announced its comprehensive approach to antibiotic stewardship and introduced two new fresh poultry lines that will provide consumers throughout the West Coast greater accessibility to antibiotic-free and organic chicken.
Laura Batcha, executive director of the Organic Trade Association, reiterated California's leadership as the top organic producing state in the country driving mainstream adoption and applauded Foster Farms' entry into the organic market. She also cited data that Sacramento leads the nation as the city with the strongest growth in organic sales over the last year, with a 29 percent growth rate.
"California is a leader in organic agriculture," said Batcha. "There are around 3,000 organic farms in California alone, far more than in any other state. California leads the nation in organic vegetable and fruit production, is tied for the top spot in organic beef production and is second only to Wisconsin in organic poultry and egg production," said Batcha. "The future of the organic poultry industry is the brightest of all meat categories because of the large-scale commitments made by major brands such as Foster Farms in the sector."
The introduction of Foster Farms' two new branded product lines, along with increased acreage dedicated to organic production, are part of an evolving business strategy for the historic California producer. Foster Farms' introduction of its new Foster Farms Certified Organic and Foster Farms Simply Raised antibiotic-free chicken products makes the family-owned company the largest producer of USDA-certified organic and antibiotic-free chicken in the Western United States. The company has tripled production of chicken raised without any antibiotics since 2014, adding several new organic ranches throughout Northern California to support continuously growing consumer demand.
"Since 1939, West Coast families have depended on Foster Farms fresh chicken that is locally raised and all natural," said Ira Brill, Foster Farms' Director of Communications. "With the introduction of Foster Farms Simply Raised and Certified Organic poultry lines, our company is proudly serving a new generation of consumers including millennials who are increasingly interested in how their food is raised."
Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Karen Ross, along with a representative from CA GROWN, also recognized Foster Farms for the company's leadership in the industry and for meeting the evolving demand of today's conscious consumers.
Earlier today, Foster Farms released survey data regarding the strong demand for responsibly raised poultry and meat products by Millenials. The survey insights are available at http://fosterfarms.com/about/press/press_release.asp?press_release_id=207.
About Foster Farms
Since 1939, West Coast families have depended on Foster Farms for premium quality, locally grown poultry products. Family-owned and operated, the company continues its legacy of excellence and commitment to quality established by its founders, Max and Verda Foster. Foster Farms specializes in fresh, all-natural chicken and turkey products free of preservatives, additives or injected sodium enhancers. The company's fresh chicken products carry the American Humane Certified™ seal ensuring validation of animal welfare practices. Based in California's Central Valley, Foster Farms operates ranches throughout California and works with more than 32 family farms in the Pacific Northwest. Foster Farms is the leading producer of organic and antibiotic-free poultry on the West Coast. The company also produces delicious pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully cooked products that meet the quality and convenience needs of today's home cooks, retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers.
Food safety is Foster Farms' highest priority and the company reminds consumers to always follow safe handling and storage guidelines for the preparation of fresh poultry products. All fresh poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit as measured by a meat thermometer. Visit www.fosterfarms.com to learn more.
SOURCE Foster Farms