While Costco is well known for its insanely low prices for members, Costco also sells an extensive range of groceries that put many of its competitors to shame.
And with an extensive grocery and meats section, you can also buy your meat items in the same place! But you might also be wondering—where does Costco get its meat from? Here is what I discovered!
Where Does Costco Meat Come From?
Costco beef comes from various farms and suppliers, primarily from the United States, and in some cases, Australia. Additionally, all pork, chicken, and veal products sold at Costco are produced by American farmers, while overseas producers typically supply lamb and fish.
To get a full insight into where Costco gets its range of meat products from, keep on reading!
Where Does Costco Beef Come From?
Costco’s beef is sourced from dozens of suppliers because of the high demand for stocks, but their beef primarily comes from Californian farmers, located in the San Joaquin Valley.
Additionally, all Costco beef suppliers are 100% certified, following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest regulations regarding the raising and processing of beef for commercial sale.
Before slaughter, Costco beef is routinely tested for harmful bacteria and pathogens, including E.coli 0157:H7. Costco also requires animal welfare audits at slaughter, per the American Meat Institute Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines.
Where Does Costco’s Organic Beef Come From?
Costco’s organic beef is also sourced from Californian beef ranches, though some of the organic stock is from foreign suppliers.
In accordance with U.S. meat regulations under the National Organic Program, Costco does not stock organic beef that has been fed hormones or antibiotics.
Additionally, foreign organic beef suppliers are primarily located in Canada and Australia, and Costco ensures that all national regulations for producing organic meats are followed by these suppliers for the best quality meat possible.
Costco’s Canadian beef stocks come from the cattle lands of Alberta, and along with the Australian cattle, are all 100% organic grass-fed.
Where Does Costco’s Veal Come From?
Costco’s veal comes from its main supplier, Atlantic Veal, and Lamb of New York, who in turn source their supplies from around 120 American farms, including Buckeye Veal Farm in Ohio.
All Costco veal is completely traceable to the farm level, and all farms are inspected regularly by Costco animal welfare auditors to ensure 100% compliance with welfare and quality requirements.
Costco also maintains a particularly stringent veal policy for farm sources that covers inspections, diets, housing, barn requirements, veterinary visit cycles, and more.
Where Does Costco Chicken Come From?
Costco’s chicken products are all sourced from the company’s own chicken farm and processing facility, located outside of Fremont, Nebraska.
This Costco-owned chicken facility is a vertically integrated plant that supplies all of Costco’s chicken product needs.
It has been functioning as the sole provider of Costco chicken since 2019, and all buildings, warehouses, equipment, and chicken handling programs are designed to keep animal welfare at the forefront.
To learn more, you can see our full guide on where Costco gets their chickens from!
Where Does Costco Pork Come From?
Costco sources its pork products for its range of Kirkland Signature branded pork primal cuts, bacon, and ham primarily from JBS Swift USA, the nation’s second-largest name in pig farming and pork processing, based in Indiana.
Other meat processing plants also contribute to Costco’s pork product stock—including Tyson and Perdue.
As for Costco’s quality assurance, Costco implements a strict Pork Quality Assurance Program, a producer-driven program that ensures farmed pork products are high quality and safety, and that the animals are cared for.
Where Does Costco’s Lamb Come From?
Costco imports its lamb from Australian farms which are well known for producing grass-fed, pasture-raised lambs, bred for tenderness and quality. Costco lamb is also free of artificial additives, hormone growth promoters, and antibiotic treatments.
Where Does Costco’s Fish Come From?
The fish products stocked in Costco come from a few different sources, mainly international.
To keep their fish as fresh and high-quality as possible, Costco uses suppliers in various areas with natural populations of different types of fish.
Fishery locations outside of U.S. fisheries include South America, Latin America, Costa Rica, Norway, and Southeast Asia.
Costco also maintains an ongoing list of wild species that have been identified as being at great risk, and will not sell those species or stock from fisheries that impact those species with their fishing equipment.
Where Does Costco’s Seafood Come From?
Costco sources its seafood from various commercial farms and fisheries. Primarily, the suppliers will get their catches from the coastal waters around Maine or in the Canadian Atlantic region.
Any other non-U.S. shrimp and lobster suppliers are located in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Costco employs a strict regulatory body to ensure seafood products being imported from foreign countries are of good quality and fresh.
Costco meats are primarily sourced from U.S. farms, but some foreign suppliers are necessary. Fish, lamb, seafood, and some beef products are supplied in part by foreign producers, mainly located in Canada, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Costco chickens are all grown and processed in their own private farm and plant area in Nebraska, guaranteeing freshness and quality.