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First Fresh US Pork Traced Back to Farm

by 5m Editor
20 August 2008, at 3:40pm

US - Nature's Premium Brand, a leader in premium, all-natural fresh pork, is the first North American pork company to track DNA for reliable and accurate traceability back to the farm where the animals were raised. Nature's Premium will use IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack(R) system, a USDA Process Verified, DNA-based traceback system, for indisputable product verification.

Nature's Premium Brand pork packages will carry IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack seal at the meat case to guarantee to consumers that each cut came from the unique Nature's Premium production and processing system. Retailers carrying Nature's Premium pork with DNA TraceBack include Kowalski's Markets of Minneapolis, Minn.; Sendik's Food Markets of Milwaukee, Wisc.; New Leaf Community Markets of Santa Cruz, Calif.; Dave's Marketplace stores of Rhode Island; Donelan's Supermarkets of Boston, and Bogopa, a food distributor serving several international foods markets in greater New York. Nature's Premium Pork is also available through select foodservice distributors nationwide.

The Nature's Premium breed-specific Duroc pigs are raised by family farmers in the Midwest on a strict vegetarian diet with no animal byproducts. Animals are never administered antibiotics or growth promotants. The company's participating farms offer exceptional animal healthcare, sanitation and humane treatment. Its ultra-modern processing facility is unique in the industry for its small size, eco-friendliness and dedication to safe processes.

"Simply put, this program equates to trust," said Nature's Premium Brand founder and CEO John D. Stewart. "We take samples of the actual DNA of every animal in the program to assure that we are delivering the premium quality assurances customers expect."

Nature's Premium began conducting internal trials of the DNA TraceBack system with IdentiGEN's U.S. lab in Lawrence, Kan., in May. The Nature's Premium / DNA TraceBack partnership means that grocery retailers can offer Nature's Premium Brand pork with confidence, knowing that, in the event of a question about the safety or integrity of the product, its source can be definitively verified, Stewart added.

Boyd Oase, Meat and Seafood Director of Kowalski's Markets, said, "From a food-safety standpoint, DNA TraceBack is extremely valuable to my department. And for my customers, it provides 100 percent reassurance that Nature's Premium Pork is a safe, wholesome, all-natural product."

"DNA is a uniquely accurate, permanent and tamper-proof identification tool," said IdentiGEN CEO and President Donald R. Marvin. "Because it uses nature's bar-code -- the unique DNA of every animal -- DNA TraceBack is the ultimate proof of product integrity."

IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack system is an approved USDA Process Verified Program (PVP). PVP designation signifies that the USDA has verified the IdentiGEN system as a consistently reliable program in which meat processors, meat producers, retailers and consumers can have confidence. There are currently 36 approved USDA Process Verified Programs.