Grassfed Program Application

Grassfed Application
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Please review and accept the following Grassfed Program details

  1. Scope

    To ensure the legitimacy and eligibility of animals received into the Grass Fed (GF) Program, and their integrity is kept therein by:

    • providing clear guidance on the procedure for eligibility and acceptability for the program,
    • establishing internal procedures for segregation and traceability of products derived from these animals,
    • defining labelling procedures to comply with current legislation

    This SOP should be considered in the framework of SOP B-TRS-01 – Shipping, Receiving and Purchasing.

  2. Framework

    There is no regulated framework for the claims addressed by this program. A cattle producer can only make the Grass Fed claim for a specific lot sold to TNF if it has qualified according to the program described below.

    TNF's has created second and third party audit schemes to guarantee Grass Fed claims from producers.

  3. Definitions

    There is no regulated framework for the claims addressed by this program. A cattle producer can only make the Grass Fed claim for a specific lot sold to TNF if it has qualified according to the program described below.

    • 3.1. Origin and Age

      Producers must have records of origin for all animals and all records relevant to the grass-fed definition must be available upon request.

    • 3.2. Hormones and Antibiotics

      Cattle must never have received growth hormones, supplemental hormones, steroids, growth promotants (e.g. beta agonists), implants. Animals must be treated with antibiotics for therapeutic purposes if required.

    • 3.3. Feed

      Cattle must be lifetime raised from a variety of forage free of cereal grains and cereal grain byproducts.

      Forage includes grass (annual and perennial), forbs (legume and brassicas), browse, and cereal grain crops in the vegetative state, hay, haylage and silage. Harvested forage, grains (to a maximum of 5% over the lifetime of the animal), protein, vitamin or mineral supplementation may be provided to meet nutritional needs if required to maintain the health and welfare of the animals through circumstances such as harsh winter conditions.
      Protein, vitamin or mineral supplements must meet the following criteria:
      Any grains used in the manufacturing process of the supplement must amount to less than
      5% of the daily intake for that class of animal. This includes whole grains, processed grains,
      bi-product grains.

      The following are prohibited to be administered as feed or dietary supplements:

      • 3.3.1. Antibiotics
      • 3.3.2. Hormones
      • 3.3.3. Ionophores
      • 3.3.4. Steroids
      • 3.3.5. Products derived from animal sources
      • 3.3.6. Industrial by-products or waste

      Producers must fully document (i.e. receipts and ingredients) any supplementation that occurred including the amount, the frequency and the supplements provided

    • 3.4. Access to pasture

      Cattle must have free access to graze in open pastures except for short periods of time necessary for animal husbandry. Confinement is defined as keeping cattle in buildings or lots with less than 50 percent vegetation or ground cover for 45 days or more over a 12-month period.

      Raised without Added Hormones (RWH) refers to beef cattle produced on farms and ranches that are fed without the use of added hormones or steroids.

  4. Producer Approval

    All producers intending to provide cattle claimed as “Gras Fed” to TNF must comply with the provisions of this standard.

    Producers must apply to TNF in order to be approved vendors for the claim at stake. On-site audits will commence upon initial approval, annually thereafter and/or whenever TNF decides at its sole discretion. TNF must be informed of any changes in the status of the cattle, farm and any non-compliances therein.

    • 4.1. Application

      The producer must apply by presenting Annex A of this SOP properly filled to the authorized TNF buyer/Auditor.

      TNF will analyze the application. If accepted, the vendor will contact the producer to set a date for an on-site audit and to explain the process. There might be some exceptions due to COVID restrictions.

      If the application is rejected, the producer will also be contacted stating the reason for rejection and to discuss the actions needed to qualify for this program or to let them know there will be no further advancement in their application process.

      Once the on-site audit is performed and any corrective actions are cleared out. The producer might be listed as approved for the Grass Fed Program.

      Through its Upper Management Team, TNF will approve vendors based on audits findings and other information. With that said TNF can reject or delist a vendor at any time with no need for explanation and at its sole discretion.

    • 4.2. Records

      All producers approved as vendors for the TNF Grass Fed Program must maintain records concerning the birth, growth and production of all cattle intended for marketing as such.

      Records shall:

      • Identify individual beef cattle that are eligible for the Program from birth and all phases of growth, including all available veterinary and vaccination records for the individual as applicable.
      • Demonstrate compliance with the program by segregating and documenting any non-conforming activities.
      • Disclose all production activities occurring on-site.
      • Be made available to the auditing person from TNF upon an agreed time during normal business hours. Audit inspection will include all facilities and all available information is to be provided at that time. All information is confidential and is only used to authenticate the producer’s cattle eligibility.

    • 4.3. Animal Health, Safety and Welfare

      The producers must ensure the following:

      • All cattle shall be maintained to promote optimal health and safety. Any lame, wounded or ill cattle are not eligible for the TNF’s Grass Fed program and will be refused at delivery.
      • All cattle shall have access to appropriate feed, fresh water, shelter and care at all times.
      • Transportation and handling methods shall be humane and low stress in all aspects of cattle movement. The use of electric prods is strongly discourage and limited to a 1% of the interactions and abusive acts are strictly prohibited. Cattle trailers are to be in good repair and ventilation according to temperature and seasonality.
      • When in doubt about compliance with Animal Health, Safety and Welfare CFIA and NAMI (North American Meat Institute) Guidelines will apply.

    • 4.4. Grass Fed requirement

      A defined program for feeding and segregation must be in place at the ranch/farm. A third-party audit/recognition for the claim is preferable.

      Cattle must have been raised on pasture or hay as per definition of this program.

      All cattle must:

      • have been born on ranch and raised by the producer until sold (ranch of origin) or,
      • be able to be tracked back to original producer with back up documentation of its Grass Fed status.

    • 4.5. RWH requirements

      Animal that qualify for the Grass Fed Program must also comply with a Raise without Hormones claim. A third-party audit/recognition supporting the claim is preferable.

      The following substances are forbidden to be administered to the eligible individual cattle during its lifetime, nor can they have been administered to the lactating mother of the individual:

      • All growth hormones,
      • steroids,
      • growth implants,
      • and β-agonists.
      • Examples include, but not limited to: ractopamine (Optaflexx), zilpaterol (Zilmax), Ralgro, Ralgro Magnum, Compudose, Synovex, Revalor, etc.

      All cattle must:

      • have been born on ranch and raised by the producer until sold (ranch of origin) or,
      • be able to be tracked back to original producer with back up documentation of its RWH status.

  5. Delivery to TNF of qualifying animals

    Only approved vendors can delivery animals for the Grass Fed Program to TNF.

    Delivery quantities/time must be agreed upon with purchaser. Deliveries made with no appointments might be rejected and animal welfare responsibilities are on the supplier.

    Delivery trailers cleanliness and soundness must comply with CFIA guidelines. Transfer of care documents with:

    • Trailer plate number and Driver contact information
    • animal loading date/time
    • date and time of last time animals were fed
    • date and time of last time animals were given water

    will have to be signed by the driver delivering to our facility as a proof of compliance of animal welfare (transportation) guidelines (See SOP-B-TRS-01, receiving of live animals).

    Each delivery of cattle must be accompanied of a signed and date a binding affidavit (Annex B of this program), declaring that they certify their cattle eligible for either the GF or RWH Program. A list of eligible cattle’s CCIA tag numbers is strongly preferred or required when producing Non-Grass Fed Cattle on the same farm or ranch.

  6. Animals welfare, Segregation and traceability at TNF

    True North Foods will follow:

    • SOP B-TRS-01 in terms of purchasing and receiving and segregation procedures upon receiving
    • SOP B-TRS-02 In terms of segregation at storage (live animals and carcasses)
    • SOP A-PR-20 in terms of animal welfare
    • SOP GEN-10300 – for traceability and mass balance of products with claims.
    • SOP GEN-10400 – For Grading.
    • SOP F-REC-03 for labeling
I confirm I have read and understood these procedures



Trevor Frattinger
Grass Fed Beef Program Auditor
Box 1259 Carman, Manitoba Canada R0G 0J0
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