Thursday, November 16, 2006

Heinen's Supports Gentler Farming

Chain committed to selling 'Certified Humane' meat
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Janet H. Cho
Plain Dealer Reporter

Heinen's Fine Foods has become the second supermarket chain in the nation to promise to make sure that more of its beef, chicken, pork, dairy and egg products come from animals that have been raised and treated humanely.

"We will be supplying our stores with more products from producers that are Certified Humane' " by the nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care in Herndon, Va., said Tom Heinen, co-president of the 16-store chain based in Warrensville Heights. Heinen's is announcing the commitment today.

"Certified Humane" means the animals were raised "with enough space to express their natural behaviors," said Adele Douglass, executive director of HFAC. That means chickens don't grow up in cages, pigs aren't confined to tiny stalls and cattle aren't injected with antibiotics and growth hormones.

Animals receive a nutritious diet and aren't force-fed things they wouldn't ordinarily eat. They also receive shelter, have access to clean water, and when they are slaughtered, "there's no electric prods or stuff like that," Douglass said.

Tom Heinen, a grandson of the company's founder, Joe Heinen, said the idea is not to ask people to give up meat.
Rather, "We believe in treating everyone fairly and with respect, and this extends to the animals that supply the food we select for our customers," he said. "With the Certified Humane program, there is the added assurance of a third party that sets high standards for the humane treatment of farm animals."

Humane Farm Animal Care's standards were developed by animal scientists and farm animal welfare experts. HFAC inspectors conduct annual audits to make sure producers continue to abide by the rules.

"The reason we created this program was to change the way animals are raised in the United States," by encouraging more supermarkets to ask for Certified Humane products, Douglass said.

Heinen's Own Chicken is already Certified Humane, as are its Applegate Farms deli meats. And while Heinen's Own Beef comes from ranches that don't use hormones or antibiotics, that program is not yet Certified Humane. Douglass said the only other supermarket chain that has gone as far as Heinen's is D'Agostino's, with 25 stores in the New York City area.

Heinen said HFAC's goals aligned perfectly with his company's insistence on knowing where its food comes from.
"That's what we're all about, the best quality food," he said.

Humane Farm Animal Care's program has been endorsed by the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works to rebuild local and regional farming.

Joan and Bob Hall's Blue Hen Family Farm in Brecksville, which participates in the Countryside program, this week became the first Ohio food producer to receive Certified Humane status. The label will be used on the farm's eggs.


Anonymous gr0undzer0 said...

Enter... stage left.. a proclaimed hero to many.. a evil to him self. *smiles* just a little something that came to my head when I started to write to you. Thank you much for the comments. I don't feel so alone friend wise. So don't worry about that. If you notice the date and time.. it was a long time ago. I wrote it around the time of my b-day last year. It took me 2 years on college here in chicago to realize how great my original home Maryland was :) I do see some similarities. It's uncanny. I write poetry to effect people with a smile. I have always wanted to help people. I'm not one that ever hid from it though. I do understand why you would though :) It can be a scary world. I have always looked at the positive of the world. I try to help people see the positive in everything. There was a time I was depressed... it was a long time ago for about a month. Then one morning I awoke .. with a message I could never create my self. Help people. And so I have tried ever since. Nice to meet you.. this should be fun :)...

10:28 AM  

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