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Country NaturaL Beef

Country NaturaL Beef

Susan Charnley and Sophia Polasky

(p.203) 10.1 Country NaturaL Beef
Stitching the West Back Together
Susan CharnleSophia Polasky
University of Chicago Press

Oregon-based Country Natural Beef is a beef marketing cooperative that promotes ecologically and economically sustainable ranching while meeting the needs of consumers who are willing to pay more for “natural” beef—from cows raised in a humane and environmentally sound way. The cooperative helps its 120 ranching members across the West find markets for their beef, and returns proceeds to the ranchers, rather than the organization, for acquiring capital assets. Members must undergo third-party certification by the Food Alliance to document their cows have been treated well, grazing practices are environmentally sound, and ranch workers are treated fairly and work in safe conditions. The cooperative works with retailers to determine means to keep supplies and pricing relatively stable and to grow the market for natural beef. Members of the cooperative develop relationships with retailers and periodically volunteer time at retail outlets to interact with customers, fostering close producer-consumer ties.

Keywords:   Country Natural Beef, marketing cooperative, natural beef, producer-consumer ties, third-party certification, grazing practices

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