We get a fair amount of complaints because we are often “out of stock” on items in our online store. It pisses customers off, and we hate that.
There is a reason that folks get mad at out of stock messages. It is because they are not used to it.
Being out of stock does not happen much in the industrialized, centralized, and commoditized food production system. Consumers can pretty much get what they want, anytime they want it.
But that ain't all good. That incredible availability is only made possible because the food in that system is industrialized, centralized, and commoditized:
- The product, or the ingredients to make the product, can be sourced quickly, easily, and cheaply at any time.
- It can, and will, come from anywhere, as long as it meets the 'minimum standards'. It will be sourced from the cheapest supply on the seven continents.
Contrast that to what we do at White Oak Pastures:
- Every Monday, our processing manager puts out an email to our cattle manager, poultry manager, sheep manager, hog manager, and all of the rest asking: "What do you have for me to process for next week?"
- The field production managers respond with the livestock they have ready for processing.
- The processing manager then will processes it.
- And the products that we have to offer are all that we have to sell.
Just because we have the market for it, we don't go into the commodity market and fill up our shelves with cheap shit. We either have it, or we don't.
We hope that this is reassuring to our customers. For us, it is about quality, and not quantity. We don't buy cheap commodity product to make the sale.
We do not think that this makes us an unreliable supplier. In fact, we think that we have more resilience than the industrialized, commoditized, centralized suppliers. The fact that we are operating as more of a closed system makes us more resilient and, thus, more reliable.
It's just that a bull only has two testicles. When they are gone, we don't have any more to sell for a while.
We appreciate your support, and your understanding.
- Will Harris