Tuesday, June 26, 2007

US Foodservice San Francisco Customer Product Showcase, San Ramon

June 26, 2007

The day started off as any other, chasing a truck down to find some product that either we had

Brian Meier Center of the Plate Specialist introducting Niman Ranch the new packer of Stockyards Natural Angus Beef.

shorted a customer-or a customer had forgotten. (In all honesty we were one for one with a short and a forgotten. Doesn't matter really I call it no-fault insurance. If you need it I'll get it to you..one way or another if at all possible. The Product showcase was scheduled from 10-1 in San Ramon, roughly a 2 hour drive North and East of Monterey. I only had one customer attending and, as it turns out, he arrived, shopped and left before I got there. Fortunately he is a "Foodshow Veteran" and knew who and what to see.

I arrived about 11 and ended up staying until closing at 1:00. The highlights include the Devonshire Desserts, and some great new products at the Stockyards of Chicago booth.

Brian Meier, Center of the Plate Specialist, was pleased to announce that the new packer for the Stockyards of Chicago Natural Angus beef line is Niman Ranch.

Niman Ranch started in the early 1970s, when Bill Niman began raising pigs, chickens, goats, and cattle on eleven acres in a small coastal town, just north of San Francisco. He raised his animals using traditional, humane husbandry methods and wholesome natural feeds. Before long, Bill began selling his beef to local grocery stores while restaurants were asking to put the flavorful beef on their menus.

Bill recalls those days as "moving toward a future that looks more like the past"-a time when flavor and quality came first and farmers and ranchers were proud stewards of their animals and their land. The business grew steadily as word got around-and soon distribution spread throughout California and beyond.

By definition, niche production isn't for everyone. But if you want to raise Angus cattle with detailed records that document no implants, antibiotics or animal-derived feed, there's good news. Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) licensed Niman Ranch to produce Certified Angus Beef ® brand Natural.

Cattle must first be accepted for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand. Live cattle must be Angus-influenced, predominately (51%) solid black hair coat or AngusSource ®enrolled, animals must pass ten product specifications to qualify for the CABbrand. Producers must also sign an affidavit saying that their cattle never received antibiotics (fed or injected), hormones or animal byproducts, in order to meet the additional requirements of CAB brand Natural. Carcass specifications are:

Modest or higher marbling
Medium or fine marbling texture
"A" maturity for each, lean and skeletal characteristics
10 to 16 square inch ribeye area
Less than 1,000 pound hot carcass weight
Less than 1 inch fat thickness
Superior muscling (eliminates dairy influence)
Practically free of capillary rupture
No dark cutters
No neck hump exceeding 2 inches

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