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Atkins Ranch gains full non-GMO accreditation in US

Atkins Ranch gains full non-GMO accreditation in US

New Zealand’s Atkins Ranch is the first lamb exporter in the world to gain full non-GMO accreditation in America through the non-GMO project.

“It is something we’ve been working towards since the start of this year,” says New Zealand supply chain manager Pat Maher. “As of this week 100 per cent of our product is 100 per cent non-GMO project verified.”

Non-GMO project is an American-based organisation that provides third-party verification for non-GMO food and products.

“Consumers want to know their lamb is free from nasty additives – is free from risk. In America you can’t make a blanket claim to be GMO free unless you’ve gone through this group.”

The non-GMO status goes hand-in-hand with Atkins Ranch’s grass fed and antibiotic-free requirements.

“Part of the declaration our suppliers sign states they don’t feed their animals any genetically-modified feed, which is easy in New Zealand as it is currently banned. That has traceability right through the supply chain as they make another declaration through their ASD form when stock leave their farm, and it is included with our quality assurance documents so farmers will be audited on it from time to time as well.

“The non-GMO project ‘seal’ is the market leader for GMO avoidance and one of the fastest growing labels in the US retail sector. It is a significant point of difference for our product to carry this seal,” says Maher.

“It’s another benefit for our our farmers to sell rather than just our clean green image. For American consumers being non-GMO is point of recognition and helps with their buying decision. It is another way of making Atkins Ranch lamb pop on retail shelves.

The non-GMO announcement comes just months after Atkins Ranch announced Waipari Station, one of their suppliers, became it was the first producer in the world to gain the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4 accreditation. Atkins Ranch expects that 60 of their suppliers will be GAP Step 4 accredited by the end of the year.

Atkins Ranch, formerly known as Lean Meats in New Zealand, sells lamb and lamb products through Whole Foods Markets in the US and Canada.

Atkins Ranch was started by New Zealand farmers Phil Guscott and John Atkins. It is a cooperative of about 100 sheep farms around New Zealand with 50 staff in the US and three procurement positions in New Zealand.

ENDS


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