Year One at Emmer & Co. Posted on 11 Jan 12:00
I don’t normally like to use standard milestones to stop and reflect about where we’ve come from and where we’re going. After all, every single day that we wake up is one more day to make things better. To be kinder, to eat healthier, to exercise more, to read one more book, to learn a new skill, to tell the people you care about that you do, in fact, care about them.
But we’re now one year old. And I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. We still have a long road ahead, but if you can’t take a moment to toast your progress with a few drinks - well, that’s not really our style.
When Emmer & Co. was just hatching, it really started with a question we didn’t know the answer to. We knew that wild game was the best possible meat that you could eat. The best for the animal, the healthiest for us, and has the most amazing flavors. “Beyond organic!” we like to say. But was there something being raised out there that came as close as possible to wild? To that pureness we sought? That could be scaled the right way and provide the taste, health, and experience of wild food for as many people as possible?
And then we learned about heritage chickens. And the amazing role they’ve played in our history as humans. And the state of the current chicken industry. And we knew this was it. This was what we were looking for. We knew we could do better. We could start again with the right birds and rebuild the poultry industry from the ground up.
So we dove in. And worked on farms. And worked in slaughterhouses. And made mistakes. And had some dark days where it felt like this was just not going to happen. That we were going to fail. When you try to grow something from nothing, doubt can follow you like a squawking crow.
But we had faith. In us. In our mission. But most of all, we had faith in you.
A revolution doesn’t happen overnight. It simmers under the surface for far too long until one person finds another who believes. And then another who believes. And one more tells one more. And slowly but surely like an ocean swell, that momentum grows and finds the shore.
As noted in many publications over the year, Big Food can’t fight the coming tide. We collectively in this country want a food system that they can’t provide anymore. We choose different. And it’s only by choosing different together that we’ll prevail in the end.
Our vision of a rebuilt poultry industry involves regional centers of production. We never want to be centralized in one location. With our Midwest operations under way and the demand for heritage birds well exceeding our supply, we’re looking to the West and East this year to expand our production. We’ve found partners who are committed to the best farming practices, and processing facilities that share our incomparably high welfare standards. I’m no fortune teller, but I believe that 2016 is going to be an amazing year (I already know I’m going to be an Uncle!).
Our journey began with a question we didn’t know the answer to. We start 2016 knowing that every day more and more people are choosing different. And together we will reach the shore.
I’m raising my glass now to you and my toast is simple:
“All is possible”