Bostock's Organic Free Range Chicken ahead of the competition

When you’re happily chomping a barbecued chicken drumstick do you think about how it lived? Ben Bostock does.
Bostock says his standard of free-range is 30 times better than the competition. Photo / John Cowpland
Bostock says his standard of free-range is 30 times better than the competition. Photo / John Cowpland

PROMOTION: Ben Bostock's chickens live in solar-powered "French chalets" on sunny green pastures in Hawke's Bay. They eat organic feed grown on site that includes apples from the family orchard next door. The birds are raised and produced free from GMOs, antibiotics, chemicals, chlorine or hormones.

It may sound too idyllic to be real, but Bostock's Organic Free Range Chicken boasts a host of animal-friendly, sustainable, and high quality initiatives that set it strides apart from the competition.

Bostock's Organic Free Range Chicken was established in 2014 by Ben Bostock, who was disappointed by the degrees of separation between farm and market in the beef and sheep industries that he worked in. His father John was a pioneer in organic apple farming, so Ben set up his farm in proximity to his family's orchard. Control and health were his top priorities. From food to housing to preparation, Bostock aims to control all stages of production so he and the consumers know exactly what is going into the products that end up on their plates.

The farm's unique chalets provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional barns. The units, which are 120 square metres and house 1500 chickens, are equipped with solar-powered feeding systems and windows that allow chickens freedom to roam over 4500 square metres of open grass fields. The chalets are mobile, which means they are moved regularly to ensure fields do not get overused and chickens have ample access to fresh grass.

Fields are supplemented by thousands of newly planted trees to provide shelter and shade to the birds while also benefiting the environment.

Having celebrated its first year of business in June, Bostock's is becoming a growing producer of free-range and organic chicken in New Zealand, which only has a handful of certified organic broiler chicken companies. Bostock's is certified by Asure Quality to meet international standards for animal welfare globally.

Standards for free-range and organic labels vary greatly due to a lack of strict guidelines or monitoring, but Bostock says his standard of free-range is 30 times better than the competition. "We are the real deal here, totally transparent," Bostock says.

The company is doubling its production to 3000 chickens per week to meet the growing demand for ethically raised chicken. Chefs throughout the country are increasingly using Bostock's products as demand for ethical meat increases, and the company hopes to continue to expand the market.

Customers can order Bostock's Organic Free Range Chicken online with free nationwide delivery at bostocksorganic.co.nz/shop/

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