Now more than ever, consumers are aware that their eating habits affect not only their health, but the health of the planet, with the beef industry largely to blame for greenhouse gas production and land erosion. Aware of these critical issues, some beef producers are taking important steps to provide a cleaner, more sustainable alternative for those people who choose to eat red meat.
One of these pioneering companies is Verde Farms, the number one supplier of organic, 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised beef in the U.S., sourcing over 16 million pounds per year and offering a full line of steaks, ground meat and sausages.
Since 2005, Verde has provided high-quality beef from cattle that roam free year-round, never treated with antibiotics or added hormones and sourced from a global network of family farmers at approximately 32 degrees latitude (predominantly from Uruguay and Australia) who meet the company’s high standards. Verde processes its premium products in-house at its USDA Organic and Level 2 SQF-certified processing facility in Pedricktown, NJ.
The sustainable beef brand was born after an inspiring trip in 2004 to the grasslands of South America, where co-founder Dana Ehrlich discovered the savory, delicious taste of organic, true grass-fed beef that he had not experienced in the U.S.
“I was on a solo trip through South America beginning in Buenos Aires,” says Ehrlich. “After a few months of eating the best beef I’ve ever had, I also noticed that grass-fed beef had no ill effect, no matter the quantity consumed, unlike the grain-finished alternative predominant in the U.S. which could trigger inflammation symptoms.”
After returning from his trip, Ehrlich got in touch with his Tuck School of Business classmate Pablo Garbarino, a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, who grew up closely familiar with the region’s beef industry, culinary culture, and traditional gaucho methods of raising cattle. He loved the idea of supporting the number one export of his country, and joined Ehrlich as co-founder of Verde Farms.
“Starting a beef company was never the plan, but midway through my trip I visited a cattle ranch in Uruguay and discovered the gaucho lifestyle. Verde Farms was born right there, while enjoying the beef over a charcoal fire and a Malbec under the stars.”
Today, Verde is the largest importer of organic beef from Uruguay, with relations across the Uruguayan government including the country’s ambassador to the U.S. Recently, the brand relaunched with a first-ever consumer-focused brand campaign, “Beef From A Better Place,” alongside expanded distribution nationwide and partnerships with leading retailers and food service providers including Amazon Fresh, BJ’s Wholesale, and True Food Kitchen.
“That ‘better place’ is not so much a geographic location as it is an orientation/state of mind,” says Ehrlich. “We come from a place where quality, sustainability, healthfulness, and kindness matter. Enjoying our beef with your family brings you to that place with us.”
In spring of 2023, Verde announced a continued dedication to sustainable farming practices and regenerative agriculture with the Land to Market™ verification, making it one of the first beef companies to meet this rigorous standard. Land to Market is the world’s first outcomes-based, verified regenerative sourcing solution which verifies that farmers and ranchers are achieving positive outcomes to land health.
Regenerative agriculture is growing in popularity with consumers as they learn of the tremendous benefits: farming practices that actually improve the land and have a positive climate impact; humane treatment of the animals; and, ultimately, more flavorful beef. Verde is now supporting 47 verified regenerative land bases, including more than 100,000 hectares (or 247,105 acres).
“Verde represents the future of meat,” said Ehrlich. “After months of extensive consumer research, we’re excited to showcase this new branding that better highlights our core beliefs. Over our 18 years, we have witnessed remarkable growth within the organic sector. We’re thrilled to bring health-conscious consumers a better choice for meat with exceptional taste and quality that also supports sustainable and ethical farming practices.”
Verde Farms beef products are available in grocery stores, natural food retailers and clubs nationwide, and is the exclusive organic beef brand on Amazon Fresh.