Goldn Plump makes antibiotic, welfare pledges

Gold'n Plump makes antibiotic, welfare pledges

GNP Company, the US poultry processor, is adding two claims to its all-natural chicken products sold under the Gold'n Plump brand.

The company, owned by Maschhoff Family Foods, is adding a "no antibiotics ever" claim and the American Humane certified farm programme seal to its Gold'n Plump products.

The first Gold'n Plump products featuring both of these claims will hit store shelves in March, with more added in the summer, the premium poultry supplier said. A majority of core Gold'n Plump products, such as small and family packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs and ground chicken, will carry both the No Antibiotics-Ever claim and American Humane Certified seal by summer 2016. All remaining Gold'n Plump value-added retail, deli and foodservice products will transition by the end of 2019.

"The demand for products raised humanely and with no antibiotics ever is growing," said Julie Berling, director of strategic communications and insights for GNP Company. "As many as 42% of chicken consumers say 'hormone- or antibiotic-free' is an important factor to them. And 92.6% of consumers find it very important to buy humanely raised meats."

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports chicken raised without routine use of antibiotics is becoming mainstream in the US. But GNP said its flagship Gold'n Plump brand will be one of the first mainstream chicken brands to fully transition its entire product line to be raised without antibiotics of any kind. The USDA only allows products sourced from chickens never-ever given antibiotics their entire lives, including when inside the egg, to be labelled as "No Antibiotics-Ever."

"Not all antibiotic claims are created equal," explained Brian Roelofs, vice president of sales, marketing and service. "Many companies are making statements about eliminating the use of antibiotics medically important to humans. GNP Company's move is taking that further--eliminating all antibiotics of any kind for its All Natural Gold'n Plump products now, with the remaining portfolio to follow."

As Gold'n Plump products transition to a No Antibiotics-Ever product line, it will also become officially certified by the American Humane Certified farm program. "GNP Company has always been committed to the humane treatment of our chickens," said Roelofs. "We first partnered with the American Humane Certified farm program in 2010 to certify our Just BARE products under the program's rigorous standards. Since 2013, we've been auditing our contracted family farm partners and grow-out barns--including those responsible for the care of Gold'n Plump flocks. The official certification of Gold'n Plump formalises our already steadfast belief in humane care."

For products to display the American Humane Certified seal, GNP Company's animal care, handling and processing practices are independently, third party audited and must meet or exceed the agency's requirements.