Thursday, March 6, 2014

Good News for Costa Rica Beef and Cattle Farms, the First Rainforest Certification

We never considered ourselves "tree-huggers" or major environmentalists until we moved to Costa Rica last year. We noticed how much better we feel living in an oxygen rich environment in the mountains of Atenas. Now, we find ourselves constantly researching the benefits of sustaining a nature rich environment, which are huge! I found this article today about a Turrialba farm consisting of 1,490 acres of land was the first cattle farm in Costa Rica to be rainforest certified. The influential CATIE farm produces coffee, dairy, sugarcane, beef and lumber. While other farms have been rainforest certified, this is the first cattle farm in Costa Rica to comply and receive the certification, which can have lucrative benefits to CATIE, as well as hopes that other cattle farms will follow suit. To read more about the farm and certification, please see The Tico Times, by Robert Isenburg.
Now that we are starting a BEEF JERKY company, we are more involved in the sustainability practices and production of the local beef. We took a tour of the facility of our beef provider and we are pleased to know that our beef is 100% grass fed. In addition we learned that all the ranches are constantly inspected for good practices and none of the farms or ranches import GMO grains. The cattle and pigs here are free range. We have high hopes that many other farms will strive to implement better practices of waste and grazing on their land to preserve this lush environment. Rainforests make up over 30% of the Earths oxygen, but only cover 6% of the land surface. 
Launched in 2010, the SAN Standard for sustainable cattle production promotes animal welfare, sustainable land-use and climate change mitigation. To achieve certification, farms must provide cattle with access to pastures and ensure that animals are treated ethically. Certified farms must decrease their carbon footprint by providing cattle with an easy to digest diet, generating less methane emissions, treating manure and protecting the trees in pastures and neighboring forested areas. Additionally, farms are required to conserve waterways, adopt waste management practices and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities. What is not to appreciate about this movement?

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