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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*
  • Handcrafted.
  • 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, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system.

Made with meat from animals raised:

  • Using good animal husbandry.****
  • Out of confinement that restricts natural species-specific behaviors.
  • 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.
****The Good Food Foundation uses GAP Level 5 guidelines to define “good animal husbandry.”
***** 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.

Meet the charcuterie crafters of the Good Food Guild and apply to join.