In the summer of 2014, AgLocal approached AWA after learning that the farm certification guarantees farm products come from pasture-based, high-welfare family farms, and that the program is free for farmers. While AgLocal staff still visit their supplier farms, the assurance of a trusted third-party certifier takes a burden off of the company.
"Our value to the consumer has always been that we are the last barrier of defense between them and false label claims,” said Naithan Jones, CEO at AgLocal. “Nowhere is this more important than in meat. AWA adds a layer of verification so that even we are accountable to someone. But it also means we can source meat from Certified AWA farms with absolute confidence.”
Recent research indicates sustainability is a priority to three-quarters of Americans when they’re making food-purchasing decisions. AgLocal's online buying platform allows shoppers to browse through meat products offered by family farms that use responsible ranching practices concerning animal diet, medical treatment and animal well-being, with real-time availability and prices – and delivery direct to their door, according to a news release.
AgLocal was founded upon a commitment to traceability and fully verified supply chains. The initial strategy to achieve this was for AgLocal staff to visit every supplier farm. But as consumer demand for sustainable meat increased, so did the number of supplier farms – and the number of staff hours spent visiting them. As a result, AgLocal's procurement team soon realized that third-party farm certification could offer both a resource-saving solution plus provide marketing advantages, too.