Tribe ventures into business worldTuesday, October 13, 2009 By Sweta Adhikary
The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming has secured the deal to sell organic beef to 26 Whole Foods stores around the country. The tribe is partnering with Panorama Meats Inc. to sell organic Angus beef to stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and Utah. “We have been working on putting this deal together for a long time,” Northern Arapahoe Business Manager David Stoner said. “Our first cattle was sent to Whole Foods in March 2009.” The cattle are all grass fed on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and have a very small carbon footprint. The tribe is not only benefiting the health of the consumers, but it is also benefiting the environment. “The supply of organic beef is very limited, but the demand is constantly growing,” Stoner said. “Not only that, more consumers now want to know where the cattle are bred and how they are treated.” The tribe also has a direct relationship with retailers and consumers. They sometimes do cooking demos in various Whole Foods stores. Talking face-to-face with the tribal members gives consumers a level of comfort they can’t get from other retailers. “This is a unique opportunity for us as well as the consumers,” Stoner said. “They give us a lot of useful feedback.” Because of this new business venture, the Arapahoe tribe is also getting a lot of positive publicity. “It shows how the tribe is environmentally friendly,” Stoner said.