The hospitality industry, among many others, is facing unprecedented challenges in 2020. Yesterday’s certainties are today’s unknowns, with opportunities for the future seemingly shifting overnight.
Partially because of Covid-19 and restrictions imposed on hospitality providers and their customers, the normal complexities of business are no longer normal. Almost every supplier/producer/restaurateur is scrambling to keep up with shifting priorities and uncommon market conditions. As a long-term supplier to the hospitality industry, we’re continuing to challenge ourselves to be best in class within a business environment that is both unpredictable— and emotional.
Restaurants that have been serving customers for decades, are now considering closing their doors forever. Chefs who have put their heart and soul into inventing, preparing and entertaining, have had to put their dreams, and the livelihood of their staff, on hold. Producers from industries like our own are wondering if there will continue to be a sustainable market for their animals and products, and at what cost. Families like ours, who have been ranching for generations, are finding new ways to do what we love, while supporting the industry and our community.
At Noble Premium Bison, we believe that at times of great uncertainty, it’s important to be certain of who you are and what you stand for.
For us, that means re-evaluating short and long-term goals, strategies and priorities. It means ensuring the implementation of sustainability on multiple levels, not just for the environment, but for producers and their communities as well. More importantly, it means confirming the values we hold most dear; values like conviction, integrity and transparency.
When you can’t see the future, don’t lose sight of what you do best.
Sometimes when the going gets tough, it’s natural to want to lay low until the path is clear. But that’s not our philosophy at Noble. We started building a retail-centric brand before there was much consumer demand for bison. We were, and continue to be, so convinced of the culinary, nutritional and environmental benefits of bison meat, that we committed ourselves to not only building a brand, but building a product category as well. We started small, aligning with Sobeys and Costco in Western Canada, and quickly grew to supply premium bison products to consumers across Canada.
How did we do this? By never wavering on what we do best—producing higher value products through regenerative ranching, and operating with integrity at every stage of our business.
Part of operating with integrity means working with those whose values align with our own. In the field of sustainable agriculture for example, experts like Alan Savory, of the Savory Institute¹, are part of a ‘global movement of farmers & land managers, conscientious brands & consumers, and committed champions & supporters’ whose goal is to support and work towards advancing regenerative agriculture. Sustainability also applies to producer families who are not only practicing sustainable ranching but are supporting their farms, ranches and livelihoods.
The industry has to be sustainable environmentally, economically, and socially, which is why organizations like the Canadian Bison Association² are so important in their mission to “bring together members, and create the environment that contributes to the bison industry’s success—domestically and globally.
At Noble, we’ve been practicing regenerative land management for three generations, revitalizing the grasslands our bison graze on, as well as the ecosystem that supports them. We will continue to find new ways to positively impact climate change, an issue that affects industries beyond agriculture. We need to move away from the notion of mass production and economies of scale to focus on higher value products³ – at Noble Premium Bison that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Working with integrity means prioritizing rigorous food safety protocols from the ranch to the customer. This means our bison are never given growth stimulants or antibiotics; it also means partnering with the only fully certified, single species facility in North America. This HACCP processing facility is certified to the highest standard under Safe Quality Food program (SQF) and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), and is EU approved to facilitate our European shipments. It’s also located in North Dakota, mandating that our packaging indicate Product of USA, even though our business, our producers and our bison are 100% Canadian. Canada has one of the safest food systems in the world⁴, and we’re working hard to develop our own best practices to ensure the safety and quality of all the bison products we sell, to both our wholesale and retail customers.
At Noble, we’re not just delivering premium bison products. We’re delivering on core values of transparency—with our clients and customers; integrity—in the decisions we make professionally and personally; and generosity—with our time, our expertise and our resources. We want to raise the best bison, but more importantly, we want to raise the bar for ourselves and our industry—our health and planet depend on it.
For more information on our brand, our story, and how we can help you put Noble Premium Bison on the menu, contact Kelly@noblepremiumbison.ca