ButcherBox exclusively sources Certified Humane® pork, beef, and bison

Recently, ButcherBox became the first B-Corp Certified meat and seafood company to source only from partners with third-party animal welfare certifications, including Certified Humane® pork, beef and bison.

Now more than 400,000 ButcherBox customers across the contiguous United States will receive Certified Humane® beef and bison in their meat and seafood subscription boxes — along with the Certified Humane® pork they’ve been enjoying already.

“ButcherBox has always had a high sourcing standard for the meat and seafood it sells. However, it was important for the company to provide consumers with the robust assurance associated with meaningful third-party certifications to back up their claims,” said ButcherBox founder Mike Salguero.

“The number of labels and marketing jargon used on products – across many different categories – can make shopping confusing for consumers. But, when a third-party organization issues those labels, it helps consumers identify what really matters to them,” Salguero said.

“ButcherBox’s move to stand behind meaningful third-party certifications such as Certified Humane® beef, pork, and bison, further proves that consumers care about how animals in the food industry are treated,” said Humane Farm Animal Care Executive Director, Mimi Stein.

“ButcherBox has the insight to recognize that shoppers are taking a closer look at the food in the grocery aisles — and demanding more,” Stein said. “We have loved working with a company that’s focused on making transparency for how our food is raised, the industry standard, not the exception.”

Trust from the beginning

ButcherBox delivers Certified Humane® and other third-party certified meat along with sustainably sourced seafood directly to consumers, using a monthly subscription model. Salguero’s belief that meat and seafood could be done better has been part of its mission ever since the company was launched from a Kickstarter campaign in 2015.

“While we’ve always prioritized sourcing from partners who use humane practices and meet our high standards for sourcing, we’ve been working diligently for nearly three years to get these third-party certifications completed. This is a key differentiator for us and helps consumers have confidence in the quality of the food on their plate.” said Kelly Hilovsky, associate director of social and environmental responsibility for ButcherBox.

Since its founding, ButcherBox has been working with Certified Humane® farmers, ranchers, and processors. For example, Niman Ranch, which became Certified Humane® in 2016, was an early partner of ButcherBox. Today, Niman Ranch’s network of independent family farms remain as the key pork supplier.

Consistent partnerships

The longevity of ButcherBox’s partnerships is intentional.

“Our sourcing standards and our scale dictate the partners that can work with us,” Hilovsky said. “Once we find a partner that meets our incredibly high sourcing standards, we are really committed to maintaining that partnership.”

In fact, ButcherBox can claim third-party certification across their proteins not because their sources of meat changed. Rather, they asked the farmers and ranchers they already partnered with to join their efforts.

“We talked with our vendors about the importance of the certifications to us and our customers. They were very willing, and their practices were reflective of the standards to achieve certification, but they hadn’t pursued the designation yet.” Hilovsky said.

ButcherBox sought third-party certifications that aligned with its own values. They wanted to ensure the animals have access to wholesome and nutritious feed; are free of antibiotics and growth hormones; and are given skilled, knowledgeable, and conscientious care.

In particular, getting all of ButcherBox’s suppliers to be audited involved inspections for hundreds of ranches, slaughter facilities and further processors per year, to ensure chain of custody integrity as well as higher welfare practices. Certified Humane® is a full supply chain certification, so vendors had to understand the standards and create plans to integrate them into every touchpoint of their supply chains.

“It was a massive undertaking, and we are very proud of the accomplishment,” Hilovsky said. “The added effort was critical to ensure that the products we provide our customers not only taste delicious but also are aligned with our mission to transform the meat industry to be better for the animals, people, and the planet.”

Learn more about ButcherBox’s sourcing for its meat and seafood.

Explore Certified Humane® Farm Animal Standards for a wide range of farm animal species.