Cedar Grove Cheese

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersPlain, WI
ProductsCheese
Websitewww.cedargrovecheese.com
Market AreaCA, East, Midwest, Web Sales
Total Score1155

Cedar Grove Cheese is the quintessential small, family-owned cheese plant in Wisconsin. Once commonly dotting the countryside, in almost every rural community, Cedar Grove is now more like a living museum today. Their dedication to making high-quality specialty cheeses, and concentrating on organics, has allowed them to remain in business, a real asset to their community.

Half of their milk comes from smaller family-scale farmers (“patrons”) who ship exclusively to Cedar Grove, the other half they purchase from farmer-owned cooperatives, also dominated by smaller farms.

CriteriaRatingComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600)1155
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Farmstead dairies who live on-site (or work their own dairy daily) receive top points for this category. No transparency and/or no answer receive no points.
Ownership structure
80Family-owned business
Farmstead dairies and well-managed cooperatives with only their own patrons get top points in this category. Fewer points go to brands that have less control over their milk supply.
Milk Supply
75Milk from independent producers and a trusted cooperative
Brands that do not also market any conventional products receive top points in this category. Brands that are less dedicated to organics receive fewer points.
Organic Production
50Markets both organic and conventional products
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
90Excellent disclosure
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
90Majority of farms certified by Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA), with some certified by Oregon Tilth and NCIS
If this brand has other third-party labels, particularly animal-welfare labels, that will provide them extra points in this category depending on the particular label and its standards.
Other Labels/Standards
0None
100% Grass-fed with independent verification or independent standards to ensure compliance will receive full points in this category. Other points are attributed to how much forage composes the dairy cows’ diets.
Grass-fed
40Meets USDA minimum percent intake requirements
No point value – this information is offered for buyers interested in milk from cows without soy in their diets.
Soy Free Ration?
No
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
Pasture
75Good pasture compliance
Where cows are milked one to two times per day they receive top points. It's standard organic protocol to milk two times a day. Dairies that milk three-to-four times a day is one indicator of factory-organics.
Times Milked
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
A cull and/or death rate under 10% annually receives full points.
Cull/death Rate
75Moderate cull rate
Closed herd (meaning the brand raises all their replacement cattle) receives full points. If conventional animals are purchased, the brand receives fewer points.
Replacements
75Majority of herds closed
If this brand has a unique way of managing calves they receive more points. If they remove the calf shortly after birth (the standard practice) they receive 70 points.
Calves
75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
When the brand prohibits all antibiotic use they receive full points. No answer receives no points.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
When no hormones are used on farm(s) this brand receives full points. When the brand uses hormones therapeutically post-birth the brand receives 50 points.
Hormone Usage
50Not to their knowledge; reproductive hormones may be used therapeutically
Farmstead dairies (lives on site) get full points and cooperative/corporations that set standards and have staff that visit the supplying dairies also receive top points. No direct supervision and/or personal relationship with farm(s) gets low or no points.
Farm Support
90Representatives visit farm regularly
Full control of any added ingredients (100% come from within organization) receives top points. Dairy ingredients purchased from a number of different vendors (with less direct control) receives fewer points in this category.
Procurement of Ingredients
100No outside ingredients used
Several questions were asked in addition to the original survey questions that would ultimately give producers “extra credit” points. Look for details in individual brand explanations.
Extra Credit
0None

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