Premium Standard Farms and PM Beef Group are partnering to provide Heinen's Fine Food's, Cleveland, Ohio, and their consumers the first USDA Process Verified pork and beef program in the country.

The program was launched the last week of June at all Heinen's Fine Foods locations. An innovative and upscale family-owned and operated chain, Heinen's is promoting the product with their label, Heinen's Own.

Extensive research conducted by Heinen's in 1997, revealed their store brand was more trusted by their consumers than third party labels. Thus, Heinen's looks to secure the highest quality products from around the world, and label them with the Heinen's Own or Two Brothers brand.

Similarities between PSF and PM Beef allowed this unique partnering opportunity. Both were pioneers in gaining USDA Process Verified status, an intensive quality program modeled after ISO 9000 and audited by the USDA.

"We have selected PSF and PM Beef as our partners at the meat case because of their strict specifications and control of product quality," says Tom Heinen, co-owner/operator of Heinen's Fine Foods. "Their unique production systems allow for continuous process improvement which means the product I have in my case today will only get better. Heinen's is making a difference and setting the standard for meat quality. We believe we have found the right partners to help set that standard. If I put my name on it, my consumer expects the very best."

"We are pleased Heinen's understands the value of providing their customer base with both Process Verified beef and pork," says Mike Townsley, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at PSF. "At PSF we maintain a high commitment to providing a consistent, quality and delicious product time and again. In today's competitive business environment, relationships and joint programs can prove to be beneficial for all parties involved and the food business is no exception.

"This unique program certainly gives Heinen's a competitive advantage over other retailers' meat counters," says Curry Roberts, president of PM Beef Group. "We have been supplying Heinen's with Ranch to Retail beef for more than four years, and are excited to see Heinen's seize the opportunity to offer both USDA Process Verified beef and pork. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved, including the consumer."

Premium Standard Farms