Humboldt Creamery (Foster Farms Dairy)

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

They say: “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)1280
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/corporation
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
75Own patrons from large to mid-sized local farms, no mixed operations
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
75Brand markets both conventional and organic, but maintains split operations
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
90Excellent disclosure for this sized business
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
90CCOF, Organic Certifiers, &Global Culture all certify this brand
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
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.
40Meets minimum USDA 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?
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
50Fair 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
50Moderate cull/death rate
Closed herd (meaning the brand raises all their replacement cattle) receives full points. If conventional animals are purchased, the brand receives fewer points.
50Conventional cattle may be rotated into organic dairy herds
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.
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
100No hormones used
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
125Submitted detailed contact information for suppliers and provided information about where they source their grain (from the open market).

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