Straus Family Creamery

Rating3
Farm/Brand HeadquartersPetaluma, CA
ProductsButter, ice cream, fluid milk, yogurt, sour cream
Websitestrausfamilycreamery.com
Market AreaOR, WA, CA, NV, AZ
DescriptionIn the previous iteration of the organic dairy scorecard this brand rated 4 cows. Unfortunately, they have failed to update some of their information needed for this more comprehensive scorecard. Since we were unable to confirm some of the information this brand has been downgraded by one whole classification. Where possible, this brand’s old scores, based on their previous survey and our confirmation work, were substituted into the new rubric to represent this change. In dairy, we now see about half of the “organic” milk supply coming from factory dairies milking their cows as many as three to four times a day pushing for high production (legitimate organic farms usually milk twice a day). Cornucopia’s research also shows many of these dairies are still not providing the required amount of grazing for each cow as the law requires. While some excellent dairy marketers may feel they don’t need to participate because they already have a good relationship with their consumers, their lack of participation aids and abets factory farms and hurts ethical dairies across the country (many of whom do not have the option to directly market to consumers and need to rely on the wholesale marketplace). Participation in this survey and scorecard separates the organic label between those brands that are ”beyond organic,” others at least meeting the minimum legal standards and those that are ethically deficient. In an industry where industrial dairies do have something to hide, the lack of transparency in brands that might otherwise score well hurts the integrity of the organic label. If you’re a customer of this brand your voice may have some sway in the marketplace. Please use your power as a concerned consumer to ask your favorite brand to stand up for organic integrity by participating in The Cornucopia Institute’s research study and scorecard. Let them know you obviously have the option to use the scorecard to choose an alternative brand that is willing to be transparent with their practices.
Total Score795
CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 795
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
80Family business
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
80No answer, but narrow range of milk suppliers
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
0No answer, unknown consistency
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
0Would not participate; poor transparency
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
75CCOF
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
0No answer
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
40Based on old survey answers, cows likely meeting standards for grass-feeding
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
No answer. Soy is likely used in feed.
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
Pasture
40Cows likely meeting pasture requirements
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
90Likely twice a day (standard)
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
90Low cull rate likely
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
Replacements
70No answer but answers on previous survey showed closed herds
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
Calves
0No answer
Farms that prohibit antibiotics receive the most points. Farms that allow young stock to receive antibiotics (under one year), receive the fewest.
Antibiotic Use
90Previous scorecard answers stated no antibiotic usage
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
90Previous scorecard answers stated no hormone usage
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
0Previous scorecard stated that all dairies and visited regularly by staff
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
50Does purchase some organic whey protein
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