Whole Story

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Pozzi Ranch Pasture Raised Lamb

By Frances Flower, April 27, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Frances Flower
I am constantly impressed by our Whole Foods Market meat suppliers! I just got off the phone with Joe Pozzi from Pozzi Ranch Lamb who has been selling locally raised lamb to our Northern California stores for the last 4 years. More recently, they’ve expanded to our Pacific Northwest stores. As I was talking with Joe, I was struck by how much he cares. He cares about his lambs, he cares about natural resources and the environment, he cares about the ranchers he works with, and he cares about his consumers. Joe described his goals in life as being “to keep healthy animals, healthy natural resources and family farms viable,” and he’s certainly leading by example. Joe is a fourth generation sheep producer in Sonoma County and in partnership with his daughter, Alexandra, raises pastured lambs for Pozzi Ranch Lamb. Their lambs graze on the lush hillsides and valleys along the Pacific Coast in Valley Ford, California and are raised without antibiotics, ever, and with no added hormones.  They raise Dorset, Romney, Suffolk and Hampshire crossbreeds that are ideal sheep for their environment because they are very gregarious, are good mothers, milk well and thrive in the wet coastal areas where the ranches are located. Pozzi Ranch Lamb consists of a group of 11 ranches that raise local lamb. The Pozzi family of ranches also works to preserve and enhance the natural resources of the land. For example, the ranchers implement management practices around rivers and creeks to prevent sediment erosion and to conserve the land. And when it comes to keeping family farms viable, not only has Joe diversified his business by selling wool to bedding companies, but he also worked with our regional meat coordinator, Dan Neuerburg, to develop a strong local grass-fed and pasture-raised lamb program. “Working with Whole Foods is an enjoyable experience – whether it’s team members, team leaders or meat coordinators, you guys are genuinely interested in what we do. Our relationship is very open and transparent and we work together to look for solutions. While there is extra work involved like customer demonstrations, training team members and having people visit the ranches, it’s welcome! I know that the Whole Foods family is committed to what they’re doing and at the end of the day it’s a great feeling to see our lamb in the counter!” The Pozzi family takes great pride in raising their lambs. They hold demonstrations in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California stores during the spring and summer. Be sure to look out for them the next time you are in your local store so you can try some of their tasty lamb!
Category: Meat




Cassandra says ...
I don't really think this guy has anything to be proud of. His livelihood is simply killing baby animals that barely got to live their lives. I think it's rotten that people eat lamb or veal.
05/04/2011 3:31:14 PM CDT
Gabi Amason says ...
I think Joe has alot to be proud of. He is providing a great product and a great business ethic for his family. Living on the Southern Oregon Coast I do not get to shop very often at Whole Foods, but do appreciate quality lamb (we raise and harvest our own). Thank you Joe for bringing a quality product to the public.
05/04/2011 9:05:53 PM CDT
Heide says ...
Temple Grandin noted that the animal kingdom is cruel and that we don't have to be. There is a precious gift in raising and harvesting livestock that persons unacquainted with agriculture sometimes don't understand or appreciate. What Mr. Pozzi is endeavoring to do is extremely valuable for all of us, regardless of viewpoint. A cycle is being honored that creates stewardship, sustainability and viability for the land, the animals, the family and the community. I'm grateful for their efforts.
05/04/2011 11:15:16 PM CDT
Theresa says ...
I enjoy having lamb sometimes, and give thanks and bless the food that supports my body, as I serve others with love! For those who chose not to eat meat,let us not judge our brothers.
05/05/2011 6:27:48 AM CDT
Micky says ...
I was looking at the pictures of the dog. Does he realize how lucky he is not to be a sheep? Instead of being mans friend, he would end up as mans dinner. Why is it ok to eat a lamb or a cow or a pig, when we wouldn't think of eating our dog? Please....make the connection. If you love animals, don't eat them! There are so many other beautiful foods....right at Whole Foods. Foods that we can eat and stay in keeping with our values, and be very healthy too.
05/05/2011 7:27:49 AM CDT
Mimi says ...
I thank ranchers who are trying to raise animals in a humane way and who care for the land. Nothing was said in the article about how the lambs are slaughtered, and I would like to know if they have a humane way of doing that.
05/05/2011 5:40:12 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Mimi: Yes, the slaughter of the animals is done in a humane way.
05/06/2011 9:17:01 AM CDT
pjm says ...
Just because animals can express their pain doesn't mean that another living thing such as a plant wouldn't be angry or sad about being eaten as well.
05/06/2011 9:47:41 AM CDT
Tammy says ...
This a story that should not be on whole food. Your Killing cute lambs for food. We don't need to see this on your website!
05/06/2011 11:06:32 PM CDT
liz says ...
i have been so dissapointed with lamb here as i was raised in the uk and australia. it is tough and gamey. do you sell your lamb to colorado stores? I would love to know so i can buy it! thanks liz
11/09/2012 10:42:02 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LIZ - Although our products vary between locations, stores in Colorado should have a lamb option. You can confirm and even order online at http://wholefoodsmarket.com/online-ordering/. Make sure to choose your local store where you will be shopping and you can browse through the lamb options. Hope this helps!
11/14/2012 2:20:36 PM CST
Sacramento Family and Marriage Therapist says ...
Very good article. I certainly love this site. Thanks!
10/15/2014 11:53:09 AM CDT