Good Meat Project

Our Programs & Projects

We work toward our mission and vision through education, tool building, knowledge and resource sharing, community building, and marketplace experimentation and collaboration. Our programmatic focus is on marketplace interactions between everyone along the Good Meat supply chain from ranchers to consumers to chefs. In particular we employ the following programmatic approaches for the following communities:

  • Supporting farms, ranches, and brands that raise and/or sell Good Meat through technical assistance, resource libraries, collaborative marketing experimentation, toolkits, and peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities
  • Supporting butchers, chefs, and other food professionals who aim to source, process, and sell Good Meat. We support this community through peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange, education, resource libraries, and apprenticeship programs. 
  • Inspiring consumers, through various forms of online and in-person education, to define their own Good Meat values and helping them to find, buy, and cook meat that aligns with those values.
  • Fostering authentic, long-term partnerships and collaborations with organizations and businesses that are working to better our meat supply chain, and identifying and sharing best practices and emerging strategies that support a thriving Good Meat marketplace.

We offer three main programs for consumers, for butchers and chefs, and for farmers and ranchers respectively, with many side projects, initiatives, and collaborations that are ongoing and which weave together our main programs and audiences. Check out our primary programs and other projects below.

Good Meat Breakdown

At the Good Meat® Project (GMP), we believe that Good Meat is a constellation of practices that can and should bring value to land, animals, and people. For those of us who choose to eat meat, one of the first steps toward that vision is practical knowledge—where to find farmers stewarding land and animals with care, how to buy Good Meat, and how to cook it in ways that nourish our families and our communities. The Good Meat® Breakdown is here to help you get all of that in tune. Our Good Meat® Breakdown site will demystify the vast and sometimes confusing Good Meat universe and break down how you can find, buy, and cook Good Meat. Along the way, we’ll share resources, elevate new voices, and highlight diverse perspectives that, we hope, will inspire each of you to find your own groove in the Good Meat universe. 

The Good Meat Breakdown is a practical guide. It is also a starting point for engagement, thought, and dialogue. So let’s get started.

Butchers & Chefs Opportunity Network

Our B.A.C.O.N. program supports butchers, chefs, and other food professionals who aim to source, process, and sell Good Meat. We support this community through peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange, education, resource libraries, and apprenticeship programs. This program is currently in development and will be formally launched in 2023. See below for a few of our offerings. 

Women's Good Meat® Network

Our community members care about and work within Good Meat and often feel underrepresented and isolated within the industry. We are essential to the industry, but our contributions are not always made visible or celebrated. 

We work toward changing that paradigm by practicing mutual support, and by creating opportunities to share our experience, knowledge and skills with one another as well as with the larger Good Meat community.

We’re on a mission to build a community that practices mutual support, prioritizes learning across difference, centers the diverse lived experiences of its members, and models these values for the entire Good Meat industry.

By building community and creating, aggregating, and sharing resources and knowledge, we bring together a community of practice and mutual support among women working in the meat industry. Peer-to-peer learning, collaboration, and connection are at the root of everything we do. Learn more about our Women's Good Meat® Network.

Butchery Apprenticeship Pilot Program 

(in development)

According to a study we conducted in 2021, meat processors and retail butchers cannot reliably meet the needs of Good Meat producers, in part, because they cannot find enough skilled butchers to hire. They attribute this lack of skilled butchers to a lack of in-person training opportunities. While these businesses wish to provide paid training opportunities themselves, they identified a lack of time, resources and administrative support as the main barriers to doing so. 

Our Good Meat economy needs a new generation of skilled butchers. The viability of our rural, agricultural economy depends on it. To address this need, the GMP is working to launch a New Butchers Apprenticeship Pilot Program in Oregon in 2023. Our program would partner with skilled meat processors and retailers in Oregon to offer apprenticeships in butchery. Our apprentices would learn in full-immersion settings from trained practitioners. The program would connect first-career professionals and career changers with partner mentors who are committed to working at the intersection of responsible food production, ecologically-sound agriculture, and regional food sovereignty.  

Whole Animal Butcher Shop Database

Are you a Whole Animal Butcher Shop? Want to be included in our Whole Animal Butcher Shop List for consumers who looking to buy Good Meat in their community? Check out our list here and submit your information here.

Farmers & Ranchers Marketing Innovation Network

Our F.A.R.M.I.N. program supports Good Meat farms, ranches, and brands that raise and/or sell Good Meat through technical assistance, resource libraries, collaborative marketing experimentation, toolkits, peer-to-peer learning, and networking opportunities. Some of our ongoing initiatives and projects include: 

Peer-to-Peer Learning

The Lowdown is a once-a-month, virtual gathering of direct-to-consumer Good Meat producers who want to go deep and talk shop. Our “Lowdowns” are a virtual opportunity for Good Meat producers to strengthen their marketing and learn from one another. Each session is focused on a marketing theme. Sign up or watch past recordings here.

Marketplace Experimentation & Collaboration

Our Grassfed Alliance initiative promotes grassfed meat and dairy products that adhere to our ten Authentic Grassfed Principles. The Grassfed Alliance uses consumer research, trade promotion, market experimentation, and advocacy to advance the grassfed industry. Learn more about our Grassfed Alliance initiative here

Check out our first-of-its-kind Real Burger of Earth Day project, a collaborative trade promotion that brings together 100% grassfed ranchers, brands, and restaurants around the country who want to show how 100%grassfed beef is good for our planet and our tastebuds. 

Producer Toolkits

Are you a Good Meat producer who sells directly to consumers? Check out our series of simple, well-designed, consumer education, outreach, and social media toolkits you can use in your own marketing and outreach efforts to customers. These PDF’s are simple to download and easy to share. We hope to save you some of the time and energy you probably spend on outreach, education, and marketing.

Technical Assistance

We partner with organizations and state and local governmental agencies to provide ongoing technical assistance, including one-on-one office hours with our network of marketing experts, to Good Meat farmers and ranchers around the country. Stay tuned for more. 

Other Projects & Initiatives

In addition to our main programs above we build various tools and resources for everyone along the Good Meat supply chain, and partner with many different agencies and organizations to identify and share best practices and emerging strategies that support a thriving Good Meat marketplace. Below are a few examples. 

Good Meat Collectives

The Good Meat® Project incubates new, independently-owned Good Meat® Collectives in communities across the nation. Meat Collectives organize and host regionally-based, hands-on meat education programs. They offer classes, to consumers, farmers, chefs, and butchers, in whole animal butchery, charcuterie and cookery, as well as humane slaughter. Meat Collectives help students explore ways to produce, source and eat meat in accordance with their personal values, while teaching them where Good Meat comes from and how to take part in the processes that get Good Meat to our tables. Classes are taught by local chefs and butchers and the animals used for each class are sourced from local farmers who invest in healthy land, animals, and people.  Learn more about starting a Meat Collective or  find an existing Meat Collective or other community meat education program near you. 

Good Meat Switchboard

We built the Good Meat® Switchboard to create and strengthen dialogue between everyone in the Good Meat marketplace. A free, online tool, the Switchboard helps consumers, producers, processors, and others to buy, sell, and learn about Good Meat in their regions. The Switchboard simultaneously serves as a free, online, national, searchable marketplace, information exchange, networking hub, job board, virtual mutual aid network, and so much more. Membership is free. Join our Good Meat® Switchboard today!

We built the Good Meat Breakdown as a jumping off point for consumers who want to find, buy and cook Good Meat. Check it out!

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