By Mara Koval
Blue Apron and Bill Niman’s BN Ranch are the most recent power-duo to become a force for good in the food industry. The Washington Post just reported that the two are partnering up to apply Niman’s small-farm vision of sustainably raised meat to an international scale, building a pasture-centric supply chain for all 8 million of Blue Apron’s monthly meal kits. Blue Apron reflected on the deal by telling Clean Plates, “this partnership will help (us) further our vision to build a better food system by developing a grass-fed beef program that adheres to the highest welfare standards and delivers higher quality meat to consumers at a great value.”
Niman, a veteran rancher with a mission to humanely raise animals, has worked with renowned restaurants such as Chez Panisse and chain eateries, such as Mendocino and Chipotle, to provide meat that is better for your taste buds and your conscious. Now, he’s taking these principles to millions of tables across the country. “Bill Niman will work in partnership with our sourcing team with the objective of creating meat and poultry standards that are best-in-class and unique to Blue Apron. These standards will build on the set of criteria Niman has already established with BN Ranch for sustainability and animal welfare. This includes a commitment to grass-fed cattle, raised and handled humanely,” a representative for Blue Apron informed Clean Plates. For Blue Apron the partnership was obvious, “We wanted to partner with Bill Niman and BN Ranch since Blue Apron shares the same ideology that quality and sustainable animal husbandry go hand-in-hand.”
Blue Apron’s purchase of BN Ranch and partnership with Niman makes both ethical and economic sense for the company. They reported their reduced costs, “because we have end-to-end visibility into our supply chain and set the menu for customers, we’re able to utilize whole animals and reduce waste in the process. This allows us to raise animals with high standards and provide meat and poultry to our customers at a better value.”
Their smart business move is leading the way by example, galvanizing consumers and corporations to be more ethical and sustainable. In addition to partnering with Niman they are collaborating with Farm Forward, a nonprofit advocacy and consulting firm focused on promoting national, sustainable farming and eating practices. Blue Apron spoke about these partnerships, saying they will “help Blue Apron operationalize its vision for poultry, beef and pork production, defining the structure and application of a new standard for sustainability and humane animal welfare on its partner ranches.” Now that’s something we can get behind.