Clover Sonoma

Farm/Brand HeadquartersPetaluma, CA
ProductsButter, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, fluid milk, ice cream, kefir, sour cream
Market AreaAZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, West
Total Score1215

They write: “Clover Sonoma, based in Petaluma in Northern California, is a third-generation family-owned and operated dairy company whose core pillars are quality, support of animal welfare, sustainable business practices, and giving back to the communities they reach. The Clover brand, first distributed in 1916, has been an integral part of Sonoma County and has a long legacy of working with Northern California local family farms to create delicious, high-quality dairy products.

Today, what sets Clover apart is its innovative approach to the dairy business. As the first dairy processor to elevate milk from a commodity to a specialty food, Clover established the Clover Promise of Excellence (formerly known as the North Coast Excellence Certified program) — setting some of the most rigorous standards in the dairy industry which far surpass those of the state and federal governments. As part of this standard of excellence, Clover cows are raised on local family-owned farms that follow sustainable agriculture practices and tend small herds on spacious ranches, where the cows are well-treated and healthy. Clover farms are also American Humane Certified and must demonstrate environmental consciousness and stewardship of land. In fact, they was the first dairy company in the United States to become American Humane Certified and helped write the standards on animal welfare. They also made an early entrance into organics to provide support and help fuel the movement.

Clover Sonoma’s passion for supporting small family farms, animal welfare, sustainable business practices, and community have always been the hallmarks of the business, which has helped them earn a Certified B Corporation® title. This means they meet the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency – continuing to drive and elevate the dairy industry.”

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1215
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Ownership structure80Family-owned S-corp
Milk Supply8595% from Clover suppliers
Organic Production70Markets both organic and conventional products
Disclosure of Information for Verification85Good disclosure
Organic Certification85Quality Certification Services (QCS)
Other Labels/Standards40American Humane Certified (AHA), Non-GMO Project verified
Grass-fed40Exceeds USDA percent intake requirements
Soy Free Ration?No
Pasture80Good pasture compliance in challenging climate
Times Milked90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Cull/death Rate70Cull rates meet American Humane audit standards
Replacements100Closed herd
Calves70Removed shortly after birth; started in calf hutches
Antibiotic Use100No antibiotic use
Hormone Usage50Hormones used therapeutically
Farm Support90Dairies visited regularly by staff
Procurement of Ingredients80Purchases milk powder
Extra Credit0None