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The Wall Street Journal reports that "'single-origin' cuts are taking the local food craze to new heights," with a number of retailers "building farm-to-store meat operations that sate some consumers’ desires to trace their burger or bacon all the way back to an individual animal."

Among the retailers that are embracing this approach - Whole Foods Honest Beef, FreshDirect, and Amazon Fresh.

These programs, the story says, "take aim at the industrial meat processors like Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. that sit at the center of a hub-and-spoke system tying hundreds of thousands of farmers across the country with retailers and food distributors." And the consumers who are using them seem willing to pay premium prices for what they want.

The Journal notes that "there is little chance that single-origin meat sellers ... will soon jeopardize the business of the four companies that buy over 80% of U.S. cattle, and produce around 18 billion pounds of beef annually. Setting up a single-cow supply chain is costly and complex."
KC's View:
I'll be interested to see if this takes off, and I'd certainly be curious to taste, say, a single-origin hamburger to see if it tastes better than traditional burgers, which can be made up of meat from dozens of animals, with traceability that is problematic.

This approach, as expensive as it may be, does deal with certain food safety concerns. And, by the way, it is interesting that some of the companies embracing it are e-commerce companies that can aggressively market single-origin to consumers who have demonstrated an interest in such things.