Horizon (Danone NA)

Farm/Brand HeadquartersBoulder, CO
ProductsFluid milk
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score0

This brand is known or suspected to be practicing outside the letter and the intent of organic rules and regulations. They were the least transparent in Cornucopia’s investigation and information was difficult to confirm outside of their participation.

In 2021, Danone NA announced that it would be terminating 89 milk contracts with its Horizon brand farmers in the Northeast. Many of the affected farm families have been providing organic milk to Horizon Organic for decades and have been instrumental to the brand’s success.

When Danone NA dropped small Horizon brand dairies in the Northeast, they reduced the value of the milk in Horizon cartons.

More Horizon milk now comes from “organic” factory dairies in arid regions, and it offers fewer nutrients, poor animal welfare, and high
water use.

We recommend you try to find another source for your organic milk. Several 4 cow-brands on our Organic Dairy Scorecard are available nationwide. If you can’t find these brands, low-quality “organic” milk still offers superior qualities to conventional milk (which would rate a “0” on our scoring scale). Even low-quality organic milk is free of synthetic pesticides and antibiotics.

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 0
1-Cow Rating | Poor
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
0No answer
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
0No answer
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
0No answer
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
0No answer
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
0No answer
Animal Welfare Approved and Biodynamic certifications receive the most bonus points. Producers are not penalized for not having additional certifications beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
0No answer
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
0No answer
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
No answer. Soy is likely used in feed.
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
0No answer
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
0No answer
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
0No answer
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
0No answer
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
0No answer
Farms that prohibit antibiotics receive the most points. Farms that allow young stock to receive antibiotics (under one year), receive the fewest.
Antibiotic Use
0No answer; animals given antibiotics may be introduced back into food stream after withdrawal times.
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
0No answer; hormones may be used therapeutically
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
0No answer
All ingredients sourced from inside the organization or on the farm receives the highest points. Ingredients from confinement factory farms and/or imported ingredients receive the fewest.
Procurement of Ingredients
0No answer
Various levels of extra credit given for 1) providing full organic systems plan, 2) providing details on all farms (multi-farm brands, details on largest five required), and 3) sourcing feed on-farm or domestically.
Extra Credit