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Fair trade sets this farmer's startup apart from other meat subscription services

At a time when plant-based protein is all the rage on Wall Street, Lucinda Cramsey is going all-in on meat in America’s heartland.

Cramsey, an eighth-generation farmer from La Belle, Missouri, is founder and CEO of poultry, meat and fish subscription service startup Moink. Moink’s products are antibiotic-free with no growth hormones used on livestock, which are grass fed and humanely raised.

“What we offer is beyond organic,” said Cramsey. “It’s something called ‘regenerative agriculture.’”

Moink partners up with small family farms with strict practices in place to offer consumers customizable boxes of meat and fish. Options include wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef and lamb and pasture-raised pork and chicken. Subscribers go to the website and select the meats, poultry and/or fish they want and can elect to receive regular deliveries every three, four or six weeks. Moink boxes contain 13 lbs.-16 lbs. of meat or about 35-40 servings. In addition to subscriptions, customers can also send a one-time delivery to someone as a gift or just test it out themselves. The boxes are delivered within two to three days via FedEx (FDX).

Fair trade is key to this startup

“One of the things that sets Moink apart is actually something called ‘fair trade’ that we use with our farmers,” said Cramsey. “One of the things that really makes us unique and different is that we treat our farmers well and pay them an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. “

The company has partnered with about 100 small farmers — and one of the last independent fishermen in Bristol Bay, Alaska. According to Cramsey, Moink’s success is about the humane treatment of animals and fair practices with her partners.

With so many labels slapped on products — all natural, organic, fair trade, etc.— Cramsey wants her customers to understand her entire operation. “We have really succeeded at being able to offer this to consumers where otherwise there seems to have been some murkiness in the grocery store. We help bring clarity of what it is we are offering and how it impacts the farmer that raised it.”

Currently, Moink has subscribers in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Camsey’s growth strategy is to cater to a consumer’s need for flexibility.

“Everybody likes an exit strategy,” said Cramsey. “And so being very clear in our communications of like, ‘Okay we are not going to trap you into a subscription’” is important. That peace of mind of knowing that they aren’t trapped in a subscription is really something [customers] enjoy.”

Joanna Campione is a producer at Yahoo Finance.

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