The Mission Continues...with a New Partner
Same products. Same standards. Same mission: to change the meat we eat. The only difference now is that our new partner, Hormel Foods, will offer more opportunity to find your favorite Applegate products in more places. And, we're going to keep pushing to get antibiotics out of the food system and for transparency in GMO labeling.
Applegate founder Stephen McDonnell suffered a stroke in 2013, and while he's made great progress in his recovery, he can't continue to lead Applegate.
Why was Applegate sold?
Applegate has been a family-run business since Stephen McDonnell partnered with Christopher Ely back in 1987. Unfortunately, McDonnell suffered a stroke in December of 2013, and can't continued running Applegate. While Applegate can't move forward as a family-owned business, the company is committed to making sure the family-focused values and mission continue.
Why sell to Hormel Foods?
Applegate conducted an extensive process to choose the best partner that would be committed to letting Applegate be Applegate. Under the deal, Applegate will operate independently, keep our headquarters and staff and continue to maintain and improve our standards. The partnership also offers a great opportunity for growth for Applegate because it gives us access to more resources that will help us continue our mission of changing the meat we eat.
Will I still be able to find my favorite Applegate products at organic and natural grocery stores like Whole Foods?
Absolutely. And the great thing is that our agreement with Hormel Foods will bring Applegate to more and more supermarkets - making us easier to find for you and others who are looking for natural and organic meat products.
Are any of the products going to change?
Absolutely not. All products will be the same: antibiotic-free, humanely raised and no artificial ingredients.
What about GMOs?
Our commitment to GMO-free is as strong as ever. In fact, all of Applegate products will be free of GMO ingredients by this summer. We have converted 33 products and our last one (GF Corn Dogs) will be free of GMO ingredients as of July. We will continue to look for solutions on getting GMO feed out of our natural meat supply. We will continue our unwavering support for organizations fighting for transparency and labeling at the sate and federal level.
Will your standards on humanely raised change?
We're always looking for ways to improve animal welfare standards. The vast majority of our network farmers are certified by third parties, including Certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership. We also have full-time employees who have been trained through the Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization (PAACO) program on humane standards to ensure humane animal husbandry practices are followed.
Why should I continue buying Applegate if it means I'm contributing to Hormel Foods' profits?
Every time you buy an Applegate product, you are supporting a farmer who is working with us to change the meat we eat. When Applegate started, we had only a handful of farmers raising animals antibiotic-free and humanely. Now we work with nearly 1,800 farmers. Hormel Foods has the resources to help us grow and improve our standards. If we keep growing as a brand, that will help change the entire meat industry.