Stonyfield Farms (Lactalis)

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersLondonderry, NH
ProductsCream, fluid milk, frozen yogurt, yogurt
Websitewww.stonyfield.com
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1315

They write: “As the leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield takes care with everything it puts into its yogurts and everything it keeps out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to delicious, healthy food for more than 30 years. With their direct milk supply program, Stonyfield helps to grow the number of organic dairy farms in New England – and through their support of the Wolfe’s Neck Dairy Farmer training program, Stonyfield works to train the next generation of organic farmers. To learn more about all Stonyfield products and more, visit www.Stonyfield.com.”

In 2017 the french dairy giant Groupe Danone announced it would be selling Stonyfield to family-owned French dairy Lactalis. The divestiture of Stonyfield by its longtime parent, Groupe Dannon US, came after a formal antitrust challenge after Danone announced their acquisition of WhiteWave Foods which controlled the Horizon and Wallaby organic brands.

Historically, Cornucopia has always referenced Danone/Stonyfield as an example of a larger corporation that had not betrayed organic values. We have yet to discover evidence that they had shifted supporting family-scale farms, primarily in the Northeast, by buying cheaper “factory farm” organic milk. We hope that Lactalis will continue to respect that heritage and the expectations of their customers.

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1315
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
70Corporate-owned brand operating independently. Good track record.
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
85Primarily sourced from milk cooperative composed mostly of family farms.
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
100Only markets certified organic products
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
95Top transparency for large corporate brand.
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
75Products certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI); farm certifier varies.
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
40Non-GMO Project verified products
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
55Exceeds minimum USDA standards for grazing
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
No, though their 100% grassfed products are soy-free
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
Pasture
75Good pasture compliance in the majority of farms.
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
90Most daries milk twice a day (standard)
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
75Moderate cull rate and low death rate
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
Replacements
100Most farms are closed herd or purchase organic replacement animals.
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
Calves
75Most calves removed shortly after birth (standard practice); some farms use nurse cows or keep calves with mothers for a few days.
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 hormone use
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
90Corporation that sets standards and has a staff and third party audits that visits farms 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
90Outside ingredients from trusted sources
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