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CAB Brand Extension Is a ‘Natural’

The world’s leading beef brand is extending its product line through an agreement with two of the leading natural beef brands. Jim Riemann, president of Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), and James Henderson, president of BC Natural (BCN) Foods, Red Meats Division, have announced the birth of Certified Angus Beef® Natural.

B3R Country Meats and Coleman Natural Products, part of BCN, have a combined 43 years of experience and excellence in producing for this fast-growing niche market. The companies have agreed to work together to produce CAB Natural within the next month, beginning at the B3R plant in Childress, Texas. Riemann made the first public announcement of the agreement at the Bradley 3 Ranch Angus bull sale near Childress on Feb. 7.

However, he and Henderson caution, it will take time to gear up to produce a significant volume for an already strong demand.

"B3R Country Meats has been very successful in establishing an all-natural beef program with significant influence of Angus genetics to produce high-quality products," Riemann said. "B3R has developed an excellent relationship with the producers and feeders supplying them, sharing valuable information on the cattle to help producers become more profitable. That fits very well with our CAB Supply Development goals."

Mary Lou Bradley, B3R founder, said becoming CAB licensed had been a company goal. "Our family has been in the Angus business for more than 50 years, and Angus cattle make up the primary genetics in the high-quality cattle we process," she said. "You could say that extending our brand line to include Certified Angus Beef was a ‘natural.’"

CAB Natural products will have the same eight carcass specifications as traditional CAB products. Cattle committed to the CAB Natural program will be raised under a process-verified system that will become U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-audited to provide unbiased third-party verification of adherence to production requirements. Those requirements include the assurance that cattle have never been given hormones, antibiotics or animal byproducts.

Initially, cattle must have the Angus phenotype and be fed in CAB-licensed feedlots, in addition to meeting all other requirements. At a later date, each animal will have to be from either a registered Angus bull or female, as indicated by the American Angus Association AngusSource tag. The Coleman plant in Limon, Colo., will phase in production of CAB Natural during the course of the year, Riemann and Henderson said.

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