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Earls first restaurant chain in NA ‘Certified Humane’


April 27, 2016
By Canadian Pizza

Vancouver – Earls Kitchen + Bar announced it has become the first restaurant chain in North America to serve 100 per cent “Certified Humane” beef, raised without the use of antibiotics, steroids or added hormones.

The company has been working through a fiercely rigorous certification process toward this humane designation for some time, the company said in a news release.

Earls is a non-franchised, family-owned company founded by Leroy Earl (Bus) Fuller and his son, Stanley Earl Fuller in 1982. It has 66 locations in Canada and the United States.

“I recall the moment three years ago as we were first developing a new restaurant concept for Calgary,” Earls president Mo Jessa said in the release. “It was being designed as a single, unique location, not part of the chain. We asked ourselves could we be 100% Consciously Sourced; Certified Humane; antibiotic free, steroid free, local, even organic? Could we know what the conditions were on the farms and fisheries we were dealing with, where our garbage and food waste went, where our water came from?

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“We took a step back and fully realized the positive impact we could make within our industry by not only having one restaurant follow these principles, but by having our entire company follow these principles.” 

“It meant we all needed to change and shift practices,” said Claudia Vorlaufer, vice-president of procurement and logistics for Earls. “We would be guided by what Earls wanted to commit to our guests and staff, not by profits, convenience and volume.”

Earls went to their suppliers already raising fresh, free-run, cage free chicken and eggs for them and asked that they expand their productions to meet their demand. Suppliers were asked to know, unequivocally, the conditions at the source of where their ingredients came from and Earls’ chefs and procurement team, in turn, traveled to those sources to see conditions for themselves.

It didn’t happen all at once. At first it was one restaurant, Earls Test Kitchen in Vancouver. From there the chefs headed out to see the ranches and the butchering facilities for themselves. They filled their water bottles up from the cows’ water sources and tasted the feed, a mix of naturally ranch-grown grains and grasses and the spent grains from the local brewery. They met with expert Temple Grandin and she visited their test kitchen in Vancouver. They met with the largest certifying organization in North America and looked at what it would take to certify not just one restaurant, but every one.

Effective April 27, all 66 locations will serve “100% Certified Humane” beef, making them the first restaurant in North America, both Canada and the U.S., to do so. 

“The team that made this come together was a combination of some dedicated purchasing people behind the scenes, namely Earls’ meat and fish buyer, Dave Bursey, and the Chef Collective, a core team of Earls’ award-winning, Vancouver based Test Kitchen chefs. Earls Chef Collective members include Bocuse d’Or finalist Chef Ryan Stone; Bocuse d’Or and World Culinary Olympics competitor Chef David Wong; Gold Medal Plates winner Chef Brian Skinner, who also serves as Earls’ vegetarian specialist, and World Culinary Olympics gold medal winner Hamid Salimian, the release said. Two consulting chefs, Jeff McInnis, based in New York and Miami, and Colin Bedford, based in North Carolina, contribute their specialties to the menu.

What Earls has committed to:

On the plate: Free-run chicken, raised humanely, and eggs that are cage free; seafood that is not only sustainable, approved by both Oceanwise and the Marine Stewardship Association, but with a knowledge of the people catching and processing the fish; “Certified Humane” beef, raised from birth, to pasture to harvest without antibiotics, steroids or added hormones; and a commitment to their Quebec organic maple syrup supplier and British Columbia and Ontario organic vegetable suppliers to grow the way they want, from a single farm, knowing Earls would take 100 per cent of their crop. 

On the shelves: Recyclable, compostable and environmental products, packaging and cleaning products sourced for their low carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

In their practices: Recycling and composting – in cities where it’s not mandated and in cities where it is, decades before.

In their design: Repurpose, reuse and low impact are the trademarks of Earls stunning design and unique construction projects with LEED gold standards as their goal.