In today’s world, pet goats participate in yoga classes, apartment building walls bear signs advertising “Farm Fresh Eggs,” and the consumer appetite for organic meat and dairy is skyrocketing. Despite this popular sentiment, a lack of investment in regional meat supply chains threatens the future of regional, organic, and regenerative ranching.
California’s farmers and their four-legged flocks face severe and longstanding bottlenecks in the final steps along the meat supply chain from ranch to roast: slaughter, cut and wrap, and value-added processing. In the last 50 years, California has lost more than half of its federally inspected slaughterhouses, and the remaining facilities are operating at capacity or are located too far away to be cost-effective for producers. Access to certified organic plants is even more limited.
The coalition is exploring policy solutions that will remove burdens on small and midsize producers and processors, expand meat processing options, and invest in infrastructure to alleviate meat processing bottlenecks and support a resilient regional meat supply chain. Potential solutions include expanding on-farm slaughter, training the next generation of butchers, streamlining regulations, and supporting upgrades and expansion of meat plants.
Members include producers and processors, scientists and technical assistance providers, and key agricultural and environmental organizations. The UC Davis Food Systems Lab is conducting research to evaluate the meat supply chain across Northern California. Their findings will direct the coalition in developing effective, evidence-based solutions.
We welcome all CCOF members and partners to contact Laetitia Benador at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to learn how to get involved. Together we can put our best hoof forward!