“The animal welfare standards we expect our partners to adhere to are central to our sourcing practices.” -Harvest Table Culinary Group
We’re excited to welcome Harvest Table Culinary Group (HTCG) to Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle, with the most comprehensive welfare commitment of any food service management company to date.
HTCG is the 18th organization to join the Leadership Circle, which includes leading universities and businesses such as Harvard Business School, Villanova University, AirBnB, Burgerville, and the University of Montana.
HTCG takes pride in bringing chef-driven, innovative, authentic and personalized food experiences to life for each college and university they serve. They align their food with students’ and campus partners’ sustainability goals, and help students understand the impact that their food choices have on the environment and their communities.
As a member of Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle, Harvest Table Culinary Group has committed to using beef, chicken and pork that are 100 percent certified higher-welfare products, based on standards developed to further animal welfare. Certified higher welfare programs use third-party auditing to ensure that animals have more space, safe and enriched environments, and in some cases, access to pasture or outdoors. They also verify that animals are raised with no antibiotics, no added growth hormones and no animal by-products.
“HTCG is the first Leadership Circle member to be recognized in three product categories,” said Farm Forward’s Executive Director Andrew deCoriolis, “and is the first company committed to sourcing all of its meat from third-party certified higher welfare sources, making it a national leader in promoting animal welfare.”
HTCG’s commitment to sourcing higher welfare animal products aligns with their culinary approach. After they purchase responsibly sourced raw animal products, their kitchen brigade transforms these ingredients into final dishes using a “less volume, higher quality” approach. For example, their hamburger patty standard is a “blended smash burger,” which combines ground beef with fresh roasted mushrooms. They think creatively about how to include other plant-based ingredients such as lentils or chickpeas to drive flavor and mouthfeel in dishes like meatballs, lasagna, bolognese sauce and more. HTCG is proud that its dishes positively impact the health and wellness of their guests while reducing food’s impact on the planet.
HTCG strives for transparency and actively communicates its partnerships with farmers and producers to guests as they dine. HTCG informs its guests where their food comes from, and more importantly, why a particular farmer or producer was chosen and what impact the partnership has in the community.
Farm Forward applauds HTCG for adopting a kinder, more sustainable food policy. “As HTCG invests in this growing sector of the food economy,” said deCoriolis, “the food service management company paves the way to making higher welfare, more sustainable products available to other institutions and large buyers.” Moving forward, HTCG will also continue to integrate plant-based food options into their dining services, thereby improving the health and sustainability of our food system. Farm Forward congratulates HTCG on its achievement and is pleased to support HTCG’s commitment to continuous improvement on these issues.