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When a Big Ag conglomerate buys an iconic niche meat company, who has to change?

Apr 02, 2019 at 08:22 AM CST
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In the summer of 2015, an unlikely acquisition upended the American meat business: Perdue Farms, one of the nation’s biggest vertically integrated poultry companies, purchased mission-driven pork, beef, and lamb supplier Niman Ranch. Founded in the 1970s by Bill Niman (who left his namesake company in 2007), Niman Ranch rose to prominence as a key partner in Chipotle’s “Food with Integrity” supply chain, one that championed progressive animal husbandry practices and fair farmer pay and seemed to have little in common with its new corporate parent.