Natural Beef Company Shifts To ‘Conventional’

FARGO, N.D. — The North Dakota Natural Beef Co., based in Fargo, has changed governance and is processing more beef and has added personnel, but is not processing premium-priced "natural" beef, at least for now.

Dieter Pape, the meat processing company’s president and chief executive officer, says his company has found a new customer to replace Whole Foods Market, which his company voluntarily "resigned" about a month ago. He declined to name the new customer, citing confidentiality agreements.

Pape says Whole Foods had accounted for some 200 head a week with his company, at its peak, but had started requiring new audits that added costs that North Dakota Natural Beef declined to absorb. Unlike conventional beef, "natural beef" cattle have never been exposed to growth hormones or medications.

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