North American restaurant chain 100 percent certified humane

by Bob Sims
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VANCOUVER, BC – Family-owned restaurant group Earls Kitchen + Bar announced that after a strict certification process they have become the first North American chain to serve 100 percent certified beef with no antibiotics, steroids or added hormones. Earls has worked toward this goal of conscious sourcing through rigorous sourcing.

Earls has 66 Canadian locations and seven US locations. "I recall the moment three years ago as we were first developing a new restaurant concept for Calgary," said Earls President, Mo Jessa. "It was being designed as a single, unique location, not part of the chain. We asked ourselves could we be 100 percent consciously sourced; certified humane; antibiotic free, steroid free, local, even organic? Could we know what the conditions were on the farms and fisheries we were dealing with, where our garbage and food waste went, where our water came from?

"We took a step back and fully realized the positive impact we could make within our industry by not only having one restaurant follow these principles, but by having our entire company follow these principles."

Earls relied on suppliers to commit to the evolution of their business practices to help reach their goals. "It meant we all needed to change and shift practices," said Claudia Vorlaufer, vice president of procurement and logistics. "We would be guided by what Earls wanted to commit to our guests and staff, not by profits, convenience and volume."

Earls states their beef comes from certified humane ranches and certified humane slaughterhouses designed by Temple Grandin, PhD.

Beginning with one location, Earls Test Kitchen in Vancouver, the chain spoke with the largest certifying organization in North America to figure out what certifying every restaurant would take.

Through last year the company continued to certify more locations and effective April 27, all 66 locations will serve 100 percent certified humane beef, the first chain in North America to do so.

Jessa said, "Earls can definitely effect change because of our decision to take on the initiative to do more with our ingredients, to find a cleaner source. The entire industry changes because of it...and not only does it match the expectations of our staff, it matches their values. It's a proud day for all of us."  
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