VANCOUVER, BC – Earls Kitchen + Bar has sourced enough antibiotic-free Canadian beef to supply seven of its restaurants, the company announced on June 1.

The company redoubled efforts to source Canadian beef after consumers balked at the chain’s decision to source beef produced in the United States under the Certified Humane marketing program. In response to the consumer backlash, the company returned to its original vendor, Aspen Ridge Farms of Alberta, which is owned by Greeley, Colorado-based JBS USA.

Earls said the company wanted to offer customers beef sourced from cattle raised without antibiotics, steroids or added hormones. Earls also wanted the beef producers to undergo consistent third-party audits for animal welfare.

“We know Canadian cattle are raised with care and attention on the ranch, however, humane audits look every year at the full cycle from the ranch to feedlots and the slaughtering process,” the company said in a statement on its website. “We believe these audits, which are somewhat new to the industry, are good things.

“We are working with the Canadian beef industry and individual ranchers to buy Canadian beef and develop programs that will give us an ongoing supply,” Earls added. “This is an immediate priority for our organization. We know it will take some time to build our supply of beef that meets our criteria.”

A website for the Aspen Ridge brand states that the cattle are never administered sub-therapeutic antibiotics, never fed animal by-products and never given supplemental hormones or growth promotants. Further, the cattle are raised solely in Canada and are source and age verified. Animal handling practices are Certified Humane by Humane Farm Animal Care.

Three restaurants in Calgary and two locations in Edmonton are serving Aspen Ridge beef, in addition to one restaurant each in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, both in Alberta. Earls is offering $5 off steaks purchased in those locations. Earls is based in Vancouver and operates 66 restaurants in Canada in addition to seven US locations.