Bernardo Kojic and Ana Amarante started Granja Don Cosme in 2008 in Egaña, Soriano, Uruguay. They choose a plot of land that had been owned by Cosme Gomez more than 100 years ago and therefore named the farm Don Cosme. A few years after launching the operation, the couple decided to dedicate their farm to the production of eggs only. As veterinarians, the couple wanted to use their education in animal health and welfare to provide the most humane environment possible for their laying hens. Hence they turned to Certified Humane® for third-party verification.
Don Cosme has three aviaries, one where birds are raised and reared and the other two dedicated to cage-free and free-range egg production all under the Certified Humane® standards. They are the first farm in Uruguay to join the Certified Humane® program.
“Because we’re interested in human health as well as the welfare of the birds, we joined the Certified Humane® program to elevate the care and dignity of the animals that produce for us and feed area families,” says Kojic.
The cage-free and free-range systems have resulted in the most remarkable change in the bird’s behavior. “Our birds develop their natural behaviors because they like to jump, perch, fly and spread their wings,” says Amarante. “As a result, the birds are much more docile and really interact with us, often getting on our shoulders for a selfie.”
To optimize and maintain the health of the hens, Granja Don Cosme incorporates the latest technologies in disease prevention by providing natural probiotics for the hens. While raising cage-free and free-range hens meets the highest level of care the couple wants for their birds, it’s also something consumers are demanding in the marketplace.
“Demand for cage-free eggs is on the rise and enables us to reach a lot of different sales channels with Certified Humane® products,” says Kojic. “Even though all our eggs are hand-packed, our success with cage-free eggs means we can reinvest in new technologies, from automatic nests to automated egg collection.
The farm’s rural location in the Uruguayan fields allows them to resist monoculture (the cultivation of a single crop in a given area), and ensures excellent biosecurity, allowing the farm to operate without the need for antibiotics and within their cage-free and free-range system.
Granja Don Cosme is a family business overseen by the veterinary couple as well as their son Francisco.
In addition to providing cage-free eggs for local supermarkets, Granja Don Cosme also produces eggs for small and medium stores in Uruguay that make space for cage-free and free-range eggs.
To learn more, visit their website at: www.granjadoncosme.com.