Organic Creamery (DCI Cheese/Saputo Specialty Cheese)

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersRichfield, WI
ProductsCheese
Websitewww.dcicheeseco.com/ourcheese/designation/usda-organic
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1110

They write: “The Organic Creamery brand is the most extensive line of USDA-certified organic cheese varieties in the United States. All of the line’s products are hand-crafted by award-winning cheesemakers with organic milk from family farms that practice humane animal management and pasture grazing. Organic Creamery brand cheeses are free of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones and use no animal rennet or artificial colorings.”

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1110
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
65Corporation with family is major shareholder
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
70Purchases outside milk from highly rated co-op
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
65Markets both organic and conventional products
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
75Global Organic Alliance (GOA) certifies Saputo’s cheese production facilities; Quality Assurance International (QAI) certifies Saputo’s trading certificate.
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
0None
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
50Exceeds 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?
No
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
Pasture
70Good 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
30Unknown (supplier did not answer)
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
Replacements
100Closed herds
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
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
75A portion of milk supplied may use hormones therapeutically
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
85Staff visits farms at least once a year
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
60Outside organic cheese is purchased for the brand as supply demands
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
0None