Reporting From FamilyFarmed: No Niman Left on the Ranch | Bleader

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reporting From FamilyFarmed: No Niman Left on the Ranch

Posted By on 03.11.10 at 04:08 PM

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File under "Old News" (subcategory: "How the Hell Did I Miss This?"), but apparently Bill Niman—founder of Niman Ranch, one of the biggest names in sustainably raised pork and beef—will no longer eat Niman Ranch products.

Per this SF Gate piece from last year: "The 64-year-old Bolinas man said he can live with losing the business he built from scratch. But he can't stand quietly by, he says, while the new owners fundamentally change the brand that influenced an entire food movement. He refuses to eat their products."

You may recognize Niman pork from the burrito bar at your friendly neighborhood Chipotle. On a morning panel devoted to "Financing Growth in Sustainable Businesses," Tallgrass Beef rancher Bill Kurtis told the cautionary tale of Niman's ouster from the company he founded, after Chicago-based Natural Food Holdings came on board as a majority investor in 2006.

Kurtis's takeaway: Don't let venture capitalists anywhere near your beef.

Martha Bayne is also tweeting the expo @soupandbread.

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