I found out about Trubeef through one of their promoted YouTube advertisements. What garnered my interest in the brand from their ad was its claim to being the first carbon-neutral meat company in North America. The meat industry, particularly in the United States, is not something one would consider associating with sustainability or humane practices. So initially, I went into the review with a mix of skepticism but also hoped that this industry could be an example for meat suppliers and a pioneer for a more sustainable food industry. However, after reviewing their who’s, what’s and how’s, I believe their efforts have earned them a rating of 2.5 planets.
TruBeef Organic is a family-owned, online butcher Beef and Lamb Service. As an online business, most of Trubeef’s transactions and transparency occur on its website. Here the customer has access to three main tabs that the website offers; Shop, About, and F.A.Q./Blog/Customer Reviews. The About tab is where the bulk of their transparency lies in the forms of their third-party farm Certifications, which include; 100% Organic from the USDA National Organic Program, Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project, “G.A.P. Step 4 Pasture Raised” Certification by Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) and recognized by the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Certified 100% Carbon-natural by Carbon Reduction Institute and a Halal Certification by the Australian Government Authorized Halal Program (AGAHP) with their Halal Beef certified by Al-Iman Islamic Society (A.I.S.) and Halal Lamb certified by the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia Inc. (SICHMA). While all these certifications can be overwhelming, they give insight into “how” Trubeef’s meat is made and delivered. The website’s F.A.Q. also provides more information on why these certifications are important and what they mean. The founder also interacts with users in the Customer Review section, having a 5-star average with over 500+ reviews. Power replied to all of them, good and bad, either thanking the user for their compliments or providing apologies and solutions in the forms of tips for the Customers on the more unsatisfactory side.
Trubeef also has a strong social media presence run by a Copywriter and Content Marketing Strategist currently active on the following social media; Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. As well as their blog where they promote their #MAKEITGAP, #TrueBeef, and #Transparency hashtags. Their social media is also in tandem with their website blog where they share their tips and tricks about preparing and serving beef and lamb and address the serious issues within the food industry. E.g., misleading animal welfare agencies in the US like Certified Humane and how the term ‘Grass-fed’ isn’t legally defined by the USDA and has no regulations defining it.
Trubeef’s lamb and beef production intentionally started in Australia. This is because Australia has more than 52% of the world’s total Certified Organic farmland, with lots of grass, building their livestock reputation on how their farm animals feed on grass rather than feedlots. Their consistent year-round climate allows them to keep said lamb and cattle outdoors. In addition, Australia has ‘the strictest and most sophisticated livestock tracking system in the world under the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Program, where every single animal is identified, including their movements tracked from birth to harvest. As a small family-owned business, Trubeef cooperates with a small group of family-owned Organic livestock farms that practice sustainable, regenerative practices such as; planned grazing, building soil organic matter, building carbon retention, enhancing the farm ecosystem, and improving soil water retention without any chemical inputs whatsoever. Leaving the soil and land better than it was originally.
The 100% Organic Certificate from the USDA National Organic Program, means that Trubeef has zero chemical inputs on all their family farms which includes; herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers. This certification also means that every aspect of the farming process, supply chain, and chain of custody is inspected by independent third parties. These parties are present to ensure all farm applications are to the strange of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). Their approved Marketing Claims include; 100% Grass-Fed, No antibiotics administered, No added hormones, Not confined, Free Range - Never confined to feedlot, Vegetarian fed, Pasture-Raised. In addition, the Non-GMO Certificate by the Non-GMO Project, means that all family farms are to be inspected and tested for the presence of GMOs in the Non-GMO Project, including the entire supply chain, to ensure no cross-contamination. Lastly, they have a Halal Certification confirming that all beef and lamb are halal and are raised and slaughtered in such a fashion allowing their products to be more accessible to more groups of people.
The ordering and delivery process is relatively simple. First, a user will choose from any of their pre-packaged curated boxes or can build their package from their lamb/beef cuts. After selecting a quantity, all the user has to do is add it to their cart and check out, and wait for their confirmation email, their shipment notification with a tracking number sent via email/text from their couriers, FedEx or UPS. After an order is placed on the Sunday of that week, it is butchered and packed in California. The United States shipped from one of two packing facilities, North Carolina and California, depending on a user’s location. Their meats are blast cells frozen after cutting and portioning, and the delivery boxes are fully recyclable and filled with dry ice, ensuring that the order arrives below 40 °F. They deliver to all lower 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico via 2-Day Air or Overnight. In addition, encourage their customers to reduce the companies’ carbon emissions by ordering $75 and above and have free delivery for orders above $169 since smaller orders use the same amount of resources; packing, insulation, dry ice (Co2), as larger orders.
Lastly, Tru Beef’s 100% Carbon-neutral Certification means they take responsibility for their delivery carbon footprint, including transport, packaging, refrigeration, dry ice (CO2 gas), and delivery. They do this through the Solar program that results in carbon offsets are the Myrath Wind Energy Farms in India. This Renewable energy farm provides 490 megawatts of clean electricity to the Indian Grid and goes into powering surrounding rural villages, schools, and clean water programs.
The only information I am curious about is how the beef/lamb is transported to the United States for butchering and slaughtering. Since their Halal Certification is verified in Australia, these animals are probably slaughtered in Australia and then sent over versus being alive already when sent over. Aside from that, the only criticism can be the price since you can get many of their products, even though probably not the same quality, at half the price. So it seems like a venture for those who can afford it.
Tru Beef was founded by CEO Ken M. Power about two years ago, in September of 2022. He works directly with the family farms owned by the Walker family and the Grummit family in Queensland, Australia. Other contributors mentioned are Heritage On Horseback, which relies on horses to help guide their cattle to new fields, and ALISTER, a “spearheaded the Organic Lamb & Beef movement.” The Grummit and Walker family have a reasonably strong presence in Queensland County, appearing in YouTube documentary-type films on the Australia Good Meat channel and some new vendors like the Queensland Country Life. However, information on Alister's was sparse and not easily accessible, and their role in their beef and lamb production was a bit unclear.
What started Power’s interest in making Tru Beef was the diagnosis of chronic Auto-Immune disease. This diagnosis made him question all the food he was eating since many of the suppliers he was buying from didn’t have any rigorous on-site third-party inspections to ensure the quality of the beef and lamb. In turn, making a luxury for people who struggle with chronic illness or allergies more accessible. In addition, Power has prior experience and passion for the food industry is the founder and CEO of OCW Two Seafoods Ltd, where he supplied and shipped seafood across East Asia to various vendors.