Allen Harim Foods LLC is now one of the few companies that offers 100 percent vegetarian-fed chicken products.
On February 22, the Seaford, Delaware, poultry company announced all of its meat comes from birds fed only vegetarian feed. Additionally, the company’s Nature’s Sensation line of premium products now carry the “No Antibiotics Ever” label.
In an interview, Jack Coleman, the company’s senior director of sales and marketing, said the moves came in response to increased consumer demand for healthy food. All of the company’s products now carry “100 percent vegetarian fed” on the label, too.
“Our consumers have told us for quite some time that they are concerned about what goes into the protein that they eat,” Coleman said. “So we took the stance to go 100 percent vegetable fed.”
Allen Harim, an integrator, is now one of a handful of companies that’s totally removed animal byproducts from its feed. Coleman said it’s a more costly option but it reduces the risk that antibiotics might be introduced into feed supply from a byproduct.
Coleman said the company spent the last three years working on the transition to antibiotic-free production for the Nature’s Sensation line. The company’s antibiotic-free production standards now exceed what’s required by the forthcoming Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), he said. The “No Antibitoics Ever” label is only granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture if the bird is never given antibiotics at any point during its life.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s VFD will ban the use of growth promoting antibiotics the FDA deems medically important to humans starting in 2017. Several companies have pledged to expand their antibiotic-free offerings, or exceed the standards set by the VFD, in recent months.
The company is also certified humane by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP). The Austin, Texas, non-profit organization conducts independent certification of the welfare of farm animals. Coleman said all of Allen Harim’s farms are GAP certified and the group’s certification emblem appears on the company’s product packaging.
In a press release, the company said the Nature’s Sensation product line grew by more than 80 percent in the last year. The company expects similar growth in 2016. Nature’s Sensation is one of three brands of poultry available through Allen Harim including Allen Harim traditional and Halal certified brands.
The Nature’s Sensation line is getting new packaging with “No Antibiotics Ever” labeling as well. The new look will debut in Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern grocery stores beginning in March.
Allen Harim was founded in 2011 after its predecessor Allen Family Foods, was purchased by Korean company Harim Group. Harim Group is South Korea’s largest poultry company.