USDA inspectors visually evaluate every inch of each chicken to look for diseases, fecal matter or bruising. Any birds flagged with issues are removed from the line, condemned, and the issue addressed. This infographic demonstrates each step of the modern poultry inspection process :. After chickens are chilled, microbiological tests to further ensure food safety are conducted on equipment and products at chicken plants by companies and by the USDA.
This includes tests for microorganisms such as Salmonella. Due to the effectiveness of these processes, the industry experiences a very small percentage of positive Salmonella results, when compared to overall production. This is well below the 7.
As a reminder, all chicken is safe to eat when it is properly handled and cooked to an internal temperature of degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the processing plant, these products may include the fresh or frozen chicken sold in stores, chicken used in restaurants or exported.
All-in-all, before reaching consumers, each piece of chicken is inspected for quality, wholesomeness and food safety with more than safety checks throughout the entire process. Once chicken is cut up into parts, it is packed in trays and wrapped. The wrapped product is then inspected again to ensure that it meets or exceeds both consumer and customer expectations.
This is done so that the product can have an extended shelf life by keeping it fresh longer. Though the product is significantly cooled during this process, it does not freeze. After the product is properly chilled, it is weighed and price and safe handling instructions are affixed to the package. Labels on chicken packages must be approved by USDA prior to application on a product.
Finally, the product is packaged into boxes where a label is placed on the exterior of the box. This label displays the date packaged, USDA seal of approval and the establishment number of the plant, so that the product can be traced to the establishment where it was produced. Finally, the chicken is on its way to your local market. Prior to loading the finished product on trucks, trailers are inspected to ensure they are functioning correctly, and are properly cooled and cleaned. Once a shipment load is completed, the trailer is sealed with a tamper-evident seal. The seal is not broken until the product arrives at the customer, in order to ensure product safety and wholesomeness.
Most often, chicken products get placed into company grocery stores the same day of delivery. For more about how chickens in the United States go from farm to table, check out this infographic on the journey of the All-American Chicken. Step 1: Arrival at the Processing Plant. Step 2: Stunning. Step 3: Slaughter. Step 5: Cleaning and Chilling. Producer or Large Producer membership with WMMA will include one free consulting hour per year, which will generally take the form of a planning-type meeting during which the WMMA Director assists the producer in planning livestock production for the coming year, or in starting to develop a twelve-month marketing strategy.
Membership with WMMA provides access to educational resources, such as workshops, newsletters, and member forums; access to regional production data and benchmarks; assistance in aggregating product with other members to engage higher-volume channels; as well as relationship management and conflict resolution with processors and other producers, as needed.
Primary research has revealed an absence and lack of awareness of the value of consulting services for livestock producers. Some regional organizations, such as Farm Credit East, already provide business-consulting activities to different types of producers, indicating local demand for these services. These engagements are often project-based, and although they can be quite valuable, total project costs can also be expensive. WMMA will offer flexible and highly available consulting services to local producers as needed.
Although many meat producers are able to operate profitably without these types services, many have also expressed a desire to learn more about how to better market, price, and advertise their products. Furthermore, some producers often struggle with understanding the most profitable way to process their animals into different cuts and value-added products.
WMMA anticipates considerable demand for low-cost business support services from producers in western Massachusetts. WMMA will also assist producers and new processors in navigating the regulatory landscape of the meat industry, related to procuring labels for new meat products; creating HACCP, SSOP, and other food-safety plans; understanding facility, inspection, and equipment requirements; and more.
Scheduling Fees: The last major revenue stream for WMMA will be income earned from providing highly available processing slots to local producers and homesteaders. Unlike RIRLA, which has exclusive rights to slaughter and processing services at local facilities, and can therefore demand a compensating fee from members to access these services, producers in western Massachusetts can access processors without any sort of provision from WMMA.
Typically, these slots will not be used for routine processing needs, as WMMA intends to assist producers in planning for their yearly processing needs well in advance of the ultimate slaughter and processing dates. Instead, WMMA expects most of these slots to be used by new producers and homesteaders who are not yet experienced in planning their yearly production. Producers in emergency situations will often use these slots, such as in the case of injured animals or when livestock is not quite ready for slaughter at the planned processing date.
Trades will generally occur when all of the available slots for a week have been reserved and a member has an emergency need to access a slot. In these cases, members will be able to ask the Director to contact all producers who have reserved a slot that week to see if any person is willing to exchange his or her slot for a future slot. Similarly, if a member reserves a slot, but then is unable to deliver an animal on the scheduled date, WMMA will trade that reserved slot for a future slot. Members will often provide the Director with input on what subjects to cover in upcoming events, and offer recommendations on which speakers and formats would be most appropriate.
Some WMMA members with expertise in particular areas may be invited to facilitate a workshop and be compensated for the effort. RIRLA currently schedules at least four workshops per year on a variety of topics and attracts between 10 and 30 attendees for each.homehealthofkennewick.com/wajy-best-cell-location.php
Retail Meat Store
Merchandise: As is common in many organizations, WMMA will sell branded merchandise, such as tee shirts, hats, and tote bags. Certifications: Many trade associations offer certifications to their members and external communities in order to enhance the credentials of a product, business, or individual.
Although WMMA will advocate for the interests of all members regardless of certification, some producers and processors may ask the organization to evaluate certain aspects of their businesses according to best practices established and maintained by the WMMA staff and Board of Directors. For example, a producer who endeavors to increase demand for grass-fed beef by creating weekly recipes for their customers may qualify for special recognition.
This producer may realize premium placement at WMMA-sponsored events, receive special acknowledgement from the WMMA community as a type of business that exemplifies the vision of the organization, and ultimately earn a premium for their products in accordance with the additional value placed on them by consumers. The true value of any certification though, is largely expressed in terms of how it is recognized by the public, which depends on the visibility of the organization and the regard in which it is held.
Ownership Structure There are a few possibilities for governing WMMA, including ownership by an existing non-profit organization e. CISA or by an independent group of producers. Ultimately, credibility is paramount in any type of trade association, which requires participation in the decision-making processes by a number of individuals and businesses respected in the industry. This sort of collective partnership from an assortment of perspectives is absolutely essential for WMMA. In spirit, WMMA endeavors to unite the business interests of independent participants in the value chain for local meat products in such a way that maximizes efficiencies while promoting diversity.
Further, depending on the interest of local talent in filling the Director position for WMMA, the board may have to invest significant time in training the new Director to help them fulfill all of their responsibilities.
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Such a period of relationship building and knowledge sharing between the new Director and the local meat community might consist of sharing information about local production and processing challenges, opportunities for industry collaboration and growth, and continuous networking in order to build community trust with the fledgling association. The following makeup for an initial advisory board or Board of Directors, all located in western Massachusetts, is recommended:.
For a fair representation of the attitudes of western Massachusetts producers at large on the Board of Directors, the three commercial livestock producer members should be diverse in terms of the species of livestock raised, amount of experience in the industry, counties in which their farms are located, and marketing and sales channels used. As CISA is already active in supporting local producers, and lists over 50 producers selling meat and poultry on its online database, we see the objectives of WMMA as a natural extension of the services CISA already provides to its member producers.
Alternatively, CISA may choose to provide these services to current member producers free of additional charge, if such an arrangement is affordable to the organization and able to be combined into existing activities. Cooperatively owned and operated by producers: If CISA opts for another party to own and operate WMMA, it is recommended that the governing body be a cooperative group of local producers and other committed stakeholders.
A combination of CISA members, non-member producers, and other stakeholders could control the Association. A Board of Directors and Director would likely oversee operations, along with regular meetings to solicit opinions from the membership. As slaughtering and processing animals is an essential part of the business models for local livestock producers, these parties may wish to have more control of the WMMA than would be possible if the entity was the responsibility of CISA. If the price of membership were free or reduced, for example, processing fees would need to increase to cover all expenses.
Typical Day In Retail Meat Operation
Or, the price of memberships could be sufficiently high to decrease the need for processing fees and grant funding. Ultimately, a cooperative model would allow producers to retain complete control of these decisions. Considerations for Implementation It is uncertain whether the definition of western Massachusetts as the region of constituency for WMMA is ultimately appropriate. The association could potentially include just members from the Pioneer Valley, or expand to draw in members from all of Massachusetts, from nearby regions in neighboring states, or even from all of New England.
Regardless of the eventual geographic scope of the association, WMMA should start small. For example, RIRLA was born from a small group of tightly clustered Rhode Island producers getting together at one farm to discuss challenges in the local meat infrastructure. New members from other regions join because they are aware of the tangible benefits that the organization provides to its members.
The evolution of WMMA is expected to follow a similar trajectory, beginning in the Pioneer Valley, and expanding as appropriate into bordering areas. Value Proposition The fragmented nature of the local meat industry fails to minimize transportation costs for producers in western Massachusetts.
Even though many producers regularly frequent the same processors, only rarely do they share vehicles or coordinate logistics.
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Thus, as an overall group of local meat producers, the costs to move livestock to processors, and later to pick up the packaged meat products, are multiplied unnecessarily. Confronted with these challenges, a few coordination networks have organically emerged in the region, where producers have worked together to combine their trips to and from the local slaughter and processing facility.
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While effective at reducing the time and resources expended by some producers, these networks have yet to also coordinate transportation to additional meat processing facilities in the region, some of which provide product options beyond what is available locally. Although a few of the producers interviewed have occasionally taken their primal cuts to these locations to make smoked and cured products, such as custom-recipe sausages, nitrate-free bacon, and other types of charcuterie, these are largely independent efforts.
Only one of these producers consistently uses a secondary meat processing facility in the greater region. The establishment of a dedicated transportation and logistics organization for producers in western Massachusetts would serve the interests of local meat producers through reducing transportation costs, and providing access to new post-slaughter cutting and processing options. An average round trip of at least This trip must generally be made twice, once to drop off their livestock, and then, a few days or up to two weeks later, to pick up their meat products. This time and effort represents significant opportunity costs for producers.
Depending on how this time is valued, the potential for even more savings exists through the provision of a local transportation and logistics service. Further, for many producers seeking to add new meat products to their business, coordinating transportation to secondary post-slaughter processing facilities may also be worthwhile, and accomplished with significant savings through coordinating product to travel at the same time.