Heritage Foods USA was founded ten years ago as a response to dwindling options in the marketplace for high-quality, humanely raised meat products grown by small and medium sized independent farmers. This segment of the agricultural population is being squeezed out of business by a government in harness with trade organizations that support high volume production at grotesquely low prices. As a result of US farm policies, thousands of family farms have gone under, and the loss of cultivated land has put our future domestic food supply at risk. Thanks to the support of our partners, Heritage Foods USA has managed to pump $20 million into small agriculture-related business, slowly but surely helping to reverse this trend.
We now enter 2011 with a new Heritage Foods USA Manifesto! We will continue to build on our milestone triumphs in reviving heritage breeds, increasing awareness of the food supply in the consumer mainstream, and offering farmers a chance to work their farms in a way that best serves the land, the animals, the consumer, and themselves. In addition, we are adding some radical new projects that will continue to change our food landscape for the better:
A SOCIAL BUY of seafood from various regions including the South, where the fishing industry is staggering from natural and unnatural disasters. With the commitment of over 250 restaurant chefs and 30,000 mail order customers, we will organize a Fresh Catch Social Buy, offering a significant influx of cash to seafaring populations. Spearheaded by our Director of Special Projects, Dan Honig, major shipment days will take place on docks across America in the revolutionary sprit of the Slow Food Presidium. The most important aspect to remember here is that the more people that buy, the cheaper each individual order becomes.
NO GOAT LEFT BEHIND: In dairies across America, most male goats are slaughtered and sold for next to nothing while only a few are kept on as breeders. As a result, male goats end up being a burden on dairy farms despite the fact that they descend from some of the best genetics in the world. Led by Communications Director Katy Keiffer, No Goat Left Behind is a project designed to sell every male dairy goat destined for meat use into the mainstream food chain in the New England and Atlantic State region to augment the revenue of dairy farms. No more low commodity pricing!
A CREAMERY in NEW YORK STATE: In New York State over the past two years, thousands of dairy cows have been slaughtered for meat, and dozens of farms shuttered because commodity milk prices are so low farmers cannot afford their cows. Working with Saxelby Cheesemongers, local politicians, and non-profit foundations, we will produce and sell an affordable cheese intended for sandwiches and everyday use, while paying farmers significantly more than commodity pricing for their milk. The goal of this project is that no dairy farmer living close to New York will ever be paid an unfair price for milk.
THE FOOD MUSEUM: Dave Arnold, Director of Culinary Technology at the French Culinary Institute and weekly host of Cooking Issues on Heritage Radio Network, has already launched the concept for a major Food Museum. The project sprang from discussions with the late and much lamented Michael Batterberry of Food Arts Magazine who saw this museum as a critical way to educate and entertain the public about their food supply. Permanent and traveling exhibitions will be modest at first but the eventual goal is that the Food Museum will one day rival the Museum of Natural History as a social force. Stay tuned for information regarding the first fundraising event in spring of 2011.
MAPLE SYRUP: In March, the Heritage team, led by the Director of Mail Order Operations, Andrea Trabucco- Campos, will head to Vermont to work with the Cantor family of Deep Mountain Maple Syrup during the frenetic three-week season when sap runs. The Heritage team will bring needed hands to the harvest, produce informational videos on the true and time-tested art of producing maple syrup, and of course organize a sales campaign to restaurants, home chefs, cure masters, and everyone who just loves maple syrup.
The mission at Heritage Foods USA will always be to support “good, clean, and fair” foods and pricing, as articulated by Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food International. As we approach our tenth anniversary and review the success of our mission, we remain steadfast in this commitment.
Heritage Foods USA has been the engine that has helped to revive endangered breeds of poultry and enabled farmers such as Frank Reese to build major new infrastructure and grow his company to include other farmers as passionate as he is about heritage livestock. Many breeds have been upgraded to more stable status on conservation lists. In 2010 we introduced a kosher line of Heritage Turkeys raised on Leaping Waters Farm in Virginia.
We have mobilized farming groups for Berkshire, Red Wattle, Tamworth, and Duroc breeds. We are proud to announce monthly Large Black and Gloucestershire Old Spot supplies starting in Spring 2011. Heritage Foods USA works to make small farms bigger and big farms better. For example Lazy Farm has recently doubled its size to include hundreds of Animal Welfare Approved Six-Spotted Berkshires. Meanwhile Holthaus Farm applied for and received Certified Humane status for its Berkshire supply to comply with our standards. And the Norton family in Missouri has strengthened the Berkshire line on its farm in an effort to achieve 100% Berkshire genetics.
Our wholesale business has given Paradise Locker Meats the opportunity to expand tenfold over the last five years, offering better processing facilities to their region in Missouri as well as new employment opportunities. We sell 200 specialty pigs each and every week, come rain, snow, or national holiday, offering distribution and sales services to American farmers who comply with our standards on genetics and husbandry protocols.
This past year, the Hearst Ranch in California and S. Wallace Edwards and Sons in Virginia allowed us to accomplish major infrastructure changes in our distribution network, thus reducing prices for over 30,000 mail order clients. In the summer of 2011 we will again sell eighth cattle from the Hearst Ranch, the largest grassfed cattle operation in the United States. Sam Edwards is for the fourth year producing European quality prosciutto style hams, from Heritage breed pigs including some raised on peanuts, milk and cranberries.
Perhaps the greatest accomplishments of 2010 has been the growth of HeritageRadioNetwork.com (HRN), a media outlet located in the back garden of Roberta’s Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. HRN was inspired by Carlo Petrini’s radio station of the 1970s, Radio Bra Onde Rosse. Led by Executive Producer Jack Inslee, HRN offers programming on our food supply and environment, with guest appearances from the top echelon of talent from multiple disciplines. At years end, we count 21 weekly shows on our Network, which saw its birth in April of 2009. Our newest show, Speakeasy, will focus on the history of the American cocktail hosted by Damon Boelte, bartender at Prime Meats.
Other shows include Dave Arnold’s Cooking Issues which discusses new and innovative techniques, equipment, and ingredients, Beer Sessions, an exploration of craft beers from around the world, and Michael Harlan Turkell’s, The Food Seen: a nexus of art, photography and the culinary scene. No broadband or internet radio commands the nitty-gritty of food issues, interests, or market trends that HRN routinely explores. Our shows go literally from farm to table, and art to architecture. What’s even more impressive is that these shows broadcast weekly thanks to the selfless investment of our hosts and guests who welcome the opportunity to offer more than a three-minute sound byte while investigating complex issues. Discussions are in depth, and totally different from the typical radio experience. HRN is designed as a search engine: just type in a word and find every time it has been tagged as a theme.
We are immensely proud of our staff, our farmers and our radio partners. We will continue to work hard to meet the challenges that lie ahead in our next decade. For more information please contact us at 718-389-0985, info@HeritageFoodsUSA.com or info@HeritageRadioNetwork.com.
Heritage Foods USA
The Source for Authentic American Heritage Foods
Heritage Foods USA has been featured as a Company of the Year in Bon Appetit, House & Garden, Newsweek, Saveur Magazine and The New York Times Magazine.
Contact us with questions or ideas, look out for weekly announcements and
read new recipes, by visiting: www.HeritageFoodsUSA.com.
You can listen to our shows on The Heritage Radio Network by visiting : HeritageRadioNetwork.com
402 Graham Ave. Box 198
Brooklyn, NY 11211