Sep 1, 2007
The Checkers supermarket chain has announced the sale of certified natural lamb which is the only lamb sold in South Africa that is independently audited and certified to be both free-range and naturally reared. These lambs graze off natural pastures, are free of added hormones and antibiotics, and are not fed any animal by-products.
Not only is the certified sale a first for South Africa but the ecological auditing of this lamb means that its farming is environmentally sustainable.
Checkers has obtained this independent certification which makes it the only retailer to stock free range lamb that is certified in this manner, complying with rigorous procedural checks from farm to store. The lamb originates from the Karoo and Kalahari and is available in a variety of succulent cuts at Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores nationwide.
The sustainability of certified natural farming practices is tracked through the measurement of dung beetle populations. Their numbers are extremely sensitive to pollutants and are thus independently monitored as bio-indicators of environmental health.
Meat quality is affected by what animals eat, which is why 100% natural grazing on certified natural farms is crucial. It is therefore not only of the highest quality, but the ecological auditing thereof means that its farming is environmentally sustainable.
Free-range lambs are free to roam over the entire farm, and are never penned into feedlots. Natural lambs never receive any chronic antibiotics or added hormones to aid growth. They only graze off entirely natural veld and their diet is never supplemented with any animal by-products.
Certified natural lambs qualify as both free-range and natural. Certified natural farms are scientifically assessed through regular audits for their environmentally friendly farming practices.
Once certified, such farms must adhere to strict environmental standards, and are regularly monitored by scientists from the University of Pretoria.
Certified natural lamb’s processing and handling in the Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores conforms to rigorous standards that are HACCP accredited (an internationally recognised food safety system), and qualify the meat for European Union export.
It can be traced back to its farm of origin as every carcass is specially marked, which means that wherever the consumer sees the certified natural lamb label, the meat can be traced back to an accredited farm.