What is halal and why is it important to us?
Halal means "permissible" in Arabic. Halal is a term that describes any object or action that is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. In the case of meat, this means that the animal was slaughtered according to Islamic law.
The slaughter of a halal animal is called “zabihah” and there are certain guidelines to follow:
- During the animal’s lifetime: it must be treated properly, provided with enough space to roam, clean water, and fresh air. This includes no use of impure substances such as antibiotics or hormones, and a sick animal cannot be slaughtered.
- A prayer must be pronounced during every slaughter by a believer in Allah.
- All instruments being used for processing are required to be optimally maintained to ensure that they are utilized precisely and as humanly as possible.
Why did we begin to produce halal?
Halal is important to Muslims because it is a divine dictate, and we felt a duty to the members of our organization who were of Muslim faith. Our company has since evolved to include a broad spectrum of religions and beliefs.
Common Wealth Poultry has always understood its imperative to take into consideration our team’s perspective on their cultural and religious practice. We feel it is a moral obligation to allow our staff to practice and express their religious autonomy. The best products come from people who are dedicated to quality and are encouraged to be authentically themselves. This food feeds their families as it does ours and we all believe in the common wealth.
Do you ship fresh or frozen?
At this time, our products ship just below freezing, unless otherwise noted. See our shipping section for more information. We package everything with frozen gel packs in an (environmentally friendly) insulated box, right out of the chiller. We’ve done numerous trials across the country with temperature probes to ensure that your meat arrives at refrigerator temperature, under 40 F. We also ship only second day via FedEx for this reason. This means the temperature of the meat (but not necessarily the ambient temperature inside of the box once it's opened) will be 40F or lower when it arrives.
When do you ship?
All orders ship one or two day shipping. During the winter months, we only have one shipping day to ensure your product is as fresh as possible. Our shipping day is currently Wednesday. If you order Sunday, for example, your order will ship Wednesday and arrive on Thursday or Friday (but possibly sooner if you are closer to/within Maine). We don't ship on national holidays or other days shipping carriers don't pick up. (eg Memorial Day).
Are orders available for pick-up?
Great news! We're adding curbside pickup to enhance our customer experience. When you place an order over $50, we will package and prepare your order for free!
If you're local, we've got you covered. For curbside pickup, you'll pick up your order at our web packing facility. Our address will be given once your order is processed. You may pick up your order on Tuesday's from 11am to 1pm.
Orders must be place by Tuesday at 9am to be available the same day. Any orders place after 9am on Tuesday will be fulfilled the following Tuesday to align with our processing schedule. We recognize that this is a small window and may not work for everyone. As the demand for pickup increases, we will work to create a more flexible pickup schedule.
How do subscriptions work?
Once you sign up, you will receive an email with a link to the customer portal. There, you can add or remove items, skip deliveries, push them back, or cancel. You can choose a frequency of every 1, 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks (but please reach out if you have something else in mind!). Since we offer a discount under the assumption you’ll purchase more than one box, we do ask that folks commit to at least two shipments, but we are reasonable people and understand that things happen. If you have any questions or issues about recurring orders, please get in touch!
Are you organic?
Our animals are fed a diet that is 100% vegetarian and are not given growth promoting antibiotics. They are raised and processed in a humane manner, and are never adulterated in any way. That said, they are not certified organic. You can learn more about our values here. We believe that building a business by the people, for the people, that can scale and provide meaningful employment to more than just a few local farmers is where the action is at in 2020. That's what we'll be focusing our efforts in the coming months and years, instead of certifications like organic, which merely dictate a 'worst case' scenario, are prohibitively expensive for farmers and processors below a certain size, and don't speak at all to the important social issues our society is grappling with. It's a question of priorities for us.
Where are your birds raised?
All ducks are raised right here in Maine by a local farmer we’ve been working with for 10 years. Our chickens are primarily raised on small family farms in Pennsylvania, and to a lesser extent in New Hampshire! The decision to raise birds in PA was the result of an extensive sustainability analysis conducted in collaboration with the University of Maine, considering the carbon footprint of growing here vs in a warmer climate, and the emissions associated with multiple shipments of feed versus transporting birds once, among other factors. Given that quality is a primary motivating factor for us, we think this arrangement is the right balance between what makes sense environmentally, and what produces the best quality bird.
How are they raised?
The animals are reared in temperature controlled houses that allow them to have comfortable living conditions and do not restrict their movement. They are not confined, or over-stocked like factory farmed chickens are. We hand select the best growers to grow for us, and ensure that humane treatment and practices are always being followed. Improperly raised birds don't taste anywhere near as good as well-raised birds.
Do you process chickens for others?Yes! We are geared towards commercial processing, and have a minimum of 500 chickens at this time. We are booked for Summer 2021, but if you meet this minimum and would like more information, please reach out via the chat bubble.