Good charcuterie is made by hand with meat from animals that were raised without hormones and provided with feed that is free of animal by-products.
The Good Food Guild relies on the expertise of the charcuterie community to develop, revise and set standards for the category. As US ranches, butchers and crafters evolve, so do our standards. Read on to learn what those standards are and meet the charcutiers of the Good Food Guild.
In order to join the Good Food Guild, charcuterie companies must meet the following standards for at least 50% of their product line:
- Made in the USA or US territories*
- Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.**
- Made with ingredients that are sourced with a balanced objective of local, organic and highest quality.
- If made with additional animal products (dairy, eggs), they adhere to the same animal husbandry standards as meat ingredients.
- If made with non-animal ingredients, they are traceable, non-GMO and grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.***
- Made with respect and fair compensation for everyone working at the ranch, in the slaughterhouse and in the kitchen.
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,**** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Creating a safe and healthy work environment where employees receive a fair wage, are safe and respected at work and have access to the resources they need to keep themselves healthy.
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.****
Made with meat from animals raised:
- Using good animal husbandry.*****
- Out of confinement that restricts natural species-specific behaviors.
- With an understanding of the animal’s genetics and care taken to create an environment suitable for the specific breed.
- With plenty of access to the outdoors, including access to pasture and natural vegetation.
- Without gestation crates.
- Without hormones.
- Without sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
- Without feed containing animal by-products.******
- With concern and mindfulness for slaughterhouse practices.
- Butchered in a state, county or USDA-approved facility.
*For producers working close to the borders of Mexico or Canada, the Good Food Foundation will evaluate based on a case by case basis.
**Nitrates and nitrites are allowed.
***If less than 2% of ingredients in the product do not meet this stipulation, the entry will not be disqualified.
****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
*****The Good Food Foundation evaluates “good animal husbandry” on a case by case basis and looks for standards equivalent to GAP level 4 or higher. Producers sourcing responsibly from colder climates where year round outdoor grazing is not feasible can submit information about the farm or ranch’s processes to be considered by the Good Food Foundation.
******We encourage all producers to seek out GM-free feed wherever possible, and to discuss its desirability with their suppliers where it is not yet available. We realize that access to GM-free feed varies across the country and therefore do not yet require it for entry in the Awards. Additionally, feed including bone meal may be considered on a case by case basis for poultry farming.