LANCASTER, PA. — Air-chilled heritage chicken producer LaBelle Patrimoine announced that it would start using a new claim of regeneratively raised approved by the USDA.

The company said the agency’s meaningful recognition plays a crucial role in supporting sustainable agriculture practices.

“LaBelle Patrimoine’s standard for environmentally conscious agriculture is not new, it’s what we’ve always done, and this official status is yet another spoke that leads back to the hub of all we and our local Lancaster farmers do every day,” said Mike Charles, founder and chief executive officer, LaBelle Patrimoine. “As a sixth-generation poultry farmer, we are committed to maintaining the very best tried and true practices while also continuously evolving and improving to make sure we are doing right by the environment, our farmer partners, our flocks, our community, and our customers who rely on us for the very best poultry products in the business.”

LaBelle Patrimoine products also are certified by the Global Animal Partnership’s Better Chicken Project and the Better Chicken Commitment. This regeneratively raised status will help demonstrate its unwavering dedication to quality and sustainability from all angles.

“LaBelle Patrimoine’s regenerative agriculture practices set a commendable standard for the industry by prioritizing the environmental footprint of their supply chain,” said Brittany Smith, agriculture projects manager for Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. “Their holistic approach promotes long-term sustainability and is a north star example of how farms are leaders in environmental stewardship and the regenerative movement. We look forward to collaborating with Mike and his team to implement even more practices that benefit the communities of Lancaster County and the surrounding region of south-central Pennsylvania.”

Regenerative agriculture practices used by LaBelle Patrimoine include soil health and pasture management, including no-till/minimum-till paddocks, which help protect pastures from degradation and carbon loss. The poultry producer also uses naturally occurring poultry manure and poultry pasture grazing to enhance soil nutrients.

LaBelle also monitors water management meter systems in each poultry house and individual farmer flock management to work for optimal water nourishment without environmental challenges. The company stated that pasture management reduces wastewater, improving soil percolation, clean water drainage, filtration, and biodiversity growth. 

Next, the company plants various grasses, trees, and native plants that enhance biodiversity but also protect birds against elements and predators.

One of the last elements for LaBelle is minimizing carbon production by acquiring local supplies, fuel-efficient vehicles, solar energy and direct transportation routes.

LaBelle Patrimoine previously stated that its chickens were the first to be sold at Whole Foods Market under the GAP’s Better Chicken Project.

During 2023, the poultry producer was named All-Star Supplier of the Year by Whole Foods.

“We are honored and thrilled to be chosen for this prestigious award, which would not be possible without our amazing partnership with Whole Foods Market and the support of our local agricultural community,” Charles said. “It has been our passion to grow heritage chickens in an environment where they flourish. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers, our community and the environment while growing together with Whole Foods Market.”