In our most revolutionary supply chain impact yet, we’re proud to announce that, as of January 1st, every EPIC chicken supplier is now non-GMO verified.
Two weeks ago, our sourcing and supply team took its greatest leap yet. After years of working to incrementally improve the quality and breadth of our chicken supply chain, our head of sourcing informed us that every single one of our chicken suppliers is officially non-GMO verified!
The power and potential of this achievement cannot be overstated. From the moment EPIC came into existence, our founders made improving supply chains — especially pushing for better, simpler ingredients and healthier, happier animals — a core value for our company. Rather than accepting the degrading standards that had been set for much of the meat industry, we wanted to exceed them. Furthermore, we wanted to, alongside our consumers, push the industry as a whole to improve its practices and impact on the world. We vowed to increase transparency and improve the lives of every animal possible. Up to this point, we’d made a ton of progress in the realm of grass-fed, but non-GMO was a whole different animal. Until now.
Let’s step back for a second here. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a GMO (genetically modified organism) is an animal, plant, or microorganism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory. According to the Non-GMO Project — the chief watchdog on the matter — GMO’s create “unsustainable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and virus genes that do not occur in nature.” Essentially, something about the living organism at hand has been scientifically altered. This may sound like something out of Frankenstein, but in today’s food world it’s actually all too common, especially in animal-derived products due to the frequent presence of GMOs in animal feed. But nothing EPIC does is normal, which is why we’re fighting to scale non-GMO verified models through every sector of our supply chain. After all, why stick to the status quo when you can buck the system?
To truly appreciate the magnitude of this shift, it’s important to understand what goes into improving the quality of a massive supply chain. As our ever-evolving Honesty Pledge illustrates, we’ve helped the meat industry’s sourcing standards come a long way in the five years we’ve been around. This hasn’t been easy: asking suppliers to change the way they run their businesses takes time, effort, trust, and patience. It also takes money, which is where you (the consumer) come in. Thanks to your support and dedication to voting with your dollars for higher quality products, better animal treatment, and ecologically-conscious food production practices, we’ve been able to make this happen. This is YOUR victory!
With this shift, we’re proud to say that EPIC is still the best place to find delicious, healthy, additive-free, and high-quality meat snacks. While this designation will not be officially recognized on all applicable product labels for a while — moving through the official non-GMO verification process and getting this chicken into our products will require a lengthy, detailed effort — we couldn’t be more stoked for its direct impact, as well as what it represents for the future. In fact, we’ve already shifted our focus to getting the vast majority of the rest of our products (regardless of protein line) non-GMO verified. This won’t be easy, but we’ve always chosen the road less traveled to shake things up and change the game. Backing down from a challenge simply isn’t an option for us.
This is just our latest supply chain breakthrough, but it’s hardly our last. We’re still relentlessly pushing for greater transparency in everything we touch and are fighting to get our grass-fed bison supply chain to 100% by 2020, which would be a massive accomplishment. We’re also beginning to pursue pastured poultry sources for an even broader impact on our EPIC chicken and turkey products and the supply chains they touch. We don’t have a firm timeline on that yet, but stay tuned. I could go on and on, but the point is this: victories will take time, tenacity, and devotion to obtain, but, fueled by our superfans and commitment to change the world, we know we can reach them.
As the author Khalil Gilbran once said, “progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” This isn’t our final step in achieving our ultimate supply chain and quality goals; it’s just the latest. That’s why we’re especially ecstatic about what this breakthrough means for our present and our future. It only motivates us to fight that much harder for a better deal for our suppliers, our consumers, and our animals.
Let’s celebrate this achievement and keep this momentum going, y’all. Together, we can flip this industry on its head and make our food production system more humane, responsible, and regenerative than ever before!