California convention center buys its own cattle herd
by Western Livestock Journal

ARAMARK at the Anaheim Convention Center recently purchased a herd of cattle from Hearst Ranch, the nation’s largest single source supplier of free-range, all-natural, grass-fed and grass-finished beef. The purchase of 75 cattle represents a first among convention centers, and is the most recent enhancement to the facility’s industry-leading sustainability practices.

The Anaheim Convention Center management team is constantly exploring ways to develop innovative and cost effective programs that benefit both clients and customers. This partnership with Hearst Ranch provides the Anaheim Convention Center and ARAMARK (the convention center’s exclusive caterer) with a supply of prime cut beef products that will meet the demand of the center’s catering operation, while continuing to promote the use of natural and sustainable products. ARA- MARK at the Anaheim Convention Center and Hearst Ranch have been partners since 2004. “This purchase is another example of how the Anaheim Convention Center and AR- AMARK continue to be sustainable practice trailblazers,” said Jim Tripp, ARAMARK general manager at the Anaheim Convention Center. “We’re using a local supplier to reduce our carbon footprint, the cattle are raised in a sustainable environment consistent with the benchmarks that we’ve established, and owning our own herd provides us greater control of the supply chain.”

Executive chef Otis Huemmer adds, “the flavor profile surpasses the conventional products. The rich flavor content of the grass-fed and finished beef is unique and is very evident in grilled or roasted dishes.”

Sourcing live cattle rather than purchasing specific cuts of beef provides the facility greater cost consistency and availability because the herd is wholly owned by ARAMARK at the Anaheim Convention Center. As part of the pilot program, Hearst Ranch will continue to manage the Convention Center’s herd. The cattle—a mix of Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn breeds—are grass-fed, freerange and hormone- and antibiotic-free. They graze among the 1,000-head herd at the 80,000-acre San Simeon Ranch, part of Hearst Ranch, which is a member of the American Grassfed Association and holds certifications by Humane Farm Animal Care and Food Alliance. — WLJ