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 the foundational values it was founded upon. We never, during our investigations, discovered 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.

CriteriaRatingComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600)1315
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
70Corporate-owned brand operating independently. Good track record.
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
85Primarily sourced from milk cooperative composed mostly of family farms.
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
100Only markets certified organic products
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
95Top transparency for large corporate brand.
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
75Products certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI); farm certifier varies.
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
40Non-GMO Project verified products
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.
Grass-fed
55Exceeds minimum USDA standards for grazing
No point value – this information is offered for buyers interested in milk from cows without soy in their diets.
Soy Free Ration?
No, though their 100% grassfed products are soy-free
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
Pasture
75Good pasture compliance in the majority of farms.
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
90Most daries milk twice a day (standard)
A cull and/or death rate under 10% annually receives full points.
Cull/death Rate
75Moderate cull rate and low 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.
Replacements
100Most farms are closed herd or purchase organic replacement animals.
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.
Calves
75Most calves removed shortly after birth (standard practice); some farms use nurse cows or keep calves with mothers for a few days.
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 hormone use
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
90Corporation that sets standards and has a staff and third party audits that visits farms 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
90Outside ingredients from trusted sources
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
0None

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