Cargill’s Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White are now offering fresh, whole turkeys and fresh, bone-in turkey breasts raised without growth-promoting antibiotics, just in time for Thanksgiving. By working with more than 700 independent farmers to raise the turkeys, Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White are the first major turkey brands to implement a change like this on a large scale.
Cargill in July announced its plan to eliminate growth-promoting antibiotics from its turkeys, offering consumers the opportunity to purchase turkeys raised without growth-promoting antibiotics for Thanksgiving.
"Consumers today are becoming more interested in what goes into raising their food before it reaches their plate," says Jan Hood, marketing leader for Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White turkey. "We've been listening to what they are looking for in turkey — or more importantly, what they aren't looking for — and have chosen to remove growth-promoting antibiotics from our turkey flocks because consumers want it and we believe it's the right thing to do for the turkeys in our care."
Consumers looking for fresh turkeys from Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White raised without growth-promoting antibiotics should look for the USDA Process Verified seal stating:
- Raised by independent farmers
- Producers are trained on animal handling practices
- No antibiotics used for growth promotion (antibiotics only used for treatment and prevention of illness.)
A 2014 survey of turkey consumers revealed that 62 percent of consumers are interested in purchasing turkeys for Thanksgiving raised without artificial growth stimulants and half of consumers are looking for turkeys raised on independent farms.
Consumers who want to purchase organic turkeys this fall are likely to pay nearly 143 percent more than they would for conventionally raised turkeys. Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White don't think consumers need to sacrifice on price to have a wholesome turkey, so the premium products will be sold without a premium price.
"We believe that good food should be accessible to everyone. That's why we are making our fresh turkeys raised without growth-promoting antibiotics at a price comparable to conventionally-raised turkeys," Hood said.
The two brands will extend its commitment to turkeys raised without growth-promoting antibiotics to additional items in 2015.