Development of a Certified Quality System for Small Poultry Marketing Groups
The Good Natured Family Farms community-based poultry alliance will be used as a test case to develop safe, repeatable, and efficient methods for providing bulk and prepackaged whole and cut-up free-range chicken that is judged by consumers to be superior to commodity chicken in appearance and taste. These methods will be incorporated into an ISO-9000-based quality system suitable for use by small poultry marketing alliances in producing, processing, and marketing free-range and pastured poultry in a retail supermarket environment. The quality system can establish a structure for process quality within alliances, providing a means for standardizing key practices and increasing the capacity of the participants to contribute consistent quality products. Alliances of small units can offer the feel of a larger organization, opening up higher volume market opportunities, as they are better able to compete. The objectives of the project, including technical questions it will address, are as follows: 1. Refine the whole and cut-up free-range/pastured poultry product formats in bulk and pre-packaged form. What is an economical method of cutting up chickens on a small-volume basis? What is the best weight of bird to maximize the cut up yield (bone-in and boneless)? What processing practices are required to ensure consistent appearance of cut parts (conformance to standard cutting of parts) for conventional marketing? What is the impact of cutting and pre-packaging on product shelf life? Food safety protection? What packaging method(s) strike the best balance between affordability and consumer appeal? 2. Identify best practices for small free-range/pastured poultry production and processing. What production factors seem to have the greatest influence on the final appearance and eating experience of the finished product (e.g. breed, feed, forage materials, size and age at slaughter)? What are the production standards to be established for these factors? 3. Develop a Good Natured Family Farms Quality System for free-range/pastured poultry production, processing, and retailing patterned after its QSVP system for beef. Which elements of the existing QSVP system must be customized for poultry (e.g. livestock production records, product identification and traceability during processing and retailing, etc)? What systems will be implemented? What process may be used to achieve certification recognition by the USDA? By alternate third parties?
Small Business Information at Submission:
Owner-Partner Marketing Manager
Rainbow Organic Farms Company
Route 1 Box 117 Bronson, KS 66716
Number of Employees: