The company announced its Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White brands are offering whole turkeys, and fresh, bone-in turkey breasts raised without growth-promoting antibiotics. The birds are given antibiotics to prevent, control and treat disease. Cargill said its brands are the first major turkey brands to switch to growth-promoting antibiotic-free production on a large scale.
The company also said prices will be comparable to prices for conventionally-raised turkeys and priced lower than organic turkeys.
“Consumers today are becoming more interested in what goes into raising their food before it reaches their plate,” said 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.”
More than 700 independent farmers are raising the turkeys. Product packaging will bear a 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.)