Perdue Farms, the family-owned, American poultry processing company, has announced the purchase of Niman Ranch, a specialty meats company based in San Francisco whose clients have included Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Chipotle, and celebrity chef Alice Waters.
Niman Ranch prides itself on producing meat from livestock that is humanely and sustainably raised by family farmers throughout the United States.
The buyout, the terms of which have not been disclosed, will allow Perdue to continue expanding into the premium meat market, an important position as consumers increasingly object to widespread antibiotic abuse within the industry. Last year, Perdue announced that it would cease using antibiotics in its hatcheries, eliminating the practice of injecting antibiotics into eggs that are about to hatch.
In a statement, Perdue chief executive Jim Perdue explained, “The strategy is to be the most trusted brand in premium proteins.”
As the company continues its efforts to eliminate the use of antibiotics from its supply chain, Perdue is also exploring more humane methods of animal husbandry.
“We absolutely can learn from them in that area,” Perdue told The New York Times, speaking of Niman Ranch. “I think they can bring us a lot of new ideas, especially in the sow production side of the business.”