Humboldt Creamery (Foster Farms Dairy)

Farm/Brand HeadquartersFortuna, CA
ProductsCream, fluid milk
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1280

They write: “Humboldt Creamery was founded in 1929 in Humboldt County, CA. Humboldt county provides an exceptional home for dairy cows because the temperate climate and frequent fog keep pastures lush and green year-round. The temperature varies only about 12 degrees from winter to summer, which means our cows are comfortable in their thick coats all year long. And since we’re right along the coast, the fresh ocean breezes create some of the finest air quality around. Repeated flooding from the rivers in the area and run-off from the coastal mountains deposit minerals, mulch, clay, and silt into the soil, creating the ideal environment for growing grasses. Our farmers support this rich, fertile soil through careful pasture management, working with the biology of the soil and adding organic compost to replace nutrients that are taken out. Our smaller-than-average herd sizes also give our cows lots of room to roam on pasture.”

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1280
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
80Family-owned business/corporation
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
75Own patrons from large to mid-sized local farms, no mixed operations
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
75Brand markets both conventional and organic, but maintains split operations
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
90Excellent disclosure for this sized business
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
90CCOF, Organic Certifiers, &Global Culture all certify this brand
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
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
40Meets minimum USDA percent intake requirements
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
50Fair pasture compliance
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
50Moderate cull/death rate
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
50Conventional cattle may be rotated into organic dairy herds
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Farms that prohibit antibiotics receive the most points. Farms that allow young stock to receive antibiotics (under one year), receive the fewest.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
100No hormones used
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
90Representatives visit farm regularly
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
100No outside ingredients used
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
125Submitted detailed contact information for suppliers and provided information about where they source their grain (from the open market).