Having grown up working with livestock and completing his PhD in meat science and muscle biology, it is no surprise that Jim still holds a love for working with his own sow operation and a strong relationship with and understanding of all the farmers that are a part of Coleman. “Each day I am grateful to work with the farmers and ranchers that have committed their lives to producing the food that we feed our families,” he says. “At the end of the day, the farmers and their animals are the heart of the program.”
Coleman has been around for about 125 years. It has been a part of G.A.P. since the official launch of the 5-Step Program in 2010. The farms that Jim works with have achieved certifications that range from Step 1 to Step 4. “Animal welfare is the basis of everything we do, “ Jim says, “-proper nutrition, proper health, providing a safe, comfortable environment; basically, doing what is right for the pig. Our goal is to be the most trusted brand out there… to ensure we do right by the pigs, the farmers and the customers.”
Jim went on to explain that being a part of G.A.P. has given Coleman a way to have their producers be recognized for the hard work and dedication they put into raising their pigs. G.A.P. allows producers to differentiate themselves from others in the business through their step level achievement. It gives them the opportunity to show the world all of the extra work that goes into their raising their pigs by using the G.A.P. standards as a transparent and public communicative tool. Their dedication, commitment and hard work is reflected in the G.A.P. certificate they achieve and that achievement carries over into the marketplace for consumers to recognize and trust. “We like having documented programs that follow standards that are best for animal welfare. The G.A.P. program and its certifications are strong complements to what we do,” Jim says.
Jim and the Coleman Brand work tirelessly to produce and provide safe, wholesome, high quality pork that consumers can be excited about. They want to not only uphold G.A.P.’s high animal welfare standards and their longstanding farming practices for the benefit of the pigs, but they also make the farmers and their families a priority. According to Jim, maintaining a focus on farm families and ensuring their livelihoods on the farm are sustained in the years to come is another one of the values that Coleman has in their hearts. “The pork producers have gone through some hard times in these past years for many reasons, like feed costs, but our hope is that G.A.P. can provide stability for our producers, “ he says. “There isn’t one way to produce food, but consumers can use their dollars to show which production practices they support. We hope to be one of the brands that consumers support and trust for many years to come.”
Jim says they are always looking to include more farmers and expand their program under the G.A.P. certification. They will continue to work to bring more options to the consumer to the fill the demand for humane raised pork. That being said, we asked Jim what his favorite pork option was… his response “Bacon! It goes with every meal!” He also discussed a bone in, thick cut pork chop grilled to medium rare and seasoned with salt and pepper. Sounds like a tasty option for your next G.A.P. step rated dinner!