Trimona Yogurt

Farm/Brand HeadquartersPort Jefferson, NY
Market AreaTX, OR, NY, CA, IL, Northeast
Total Score1410

They write: “My name is Atanas Valev and I am the founder of Trimona Foods, Inc. I was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria – a crossroad of many ethnic cultures and religions. And a city older than some of the oldest cities in the world: Rome, Athens, and Constantinople.

In 342 BC, Plovdiv was conquered by Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) and it was named Philipopolis. During the Roman invasion in the middle of 1st century AD, Philipopolis became part of the Roman Empire and was renamed Trimontium (The City of the Three Hills). In the last century, the most popular hotel-restaurant in Plovdiv was named Trimontium and became a symbol of the city. The citizens of Plovdiv gave it the nickname, “Trimona”.

Whether it’s a budding rock band practicing in their garage, a writer scribbling her tale on some napkins, or an artist sketching his masterpiece on some old notebooks, our story is no different. It all began late at night in my cramped kitchen. I remember waking up my wife in the middle of the night and asking her to taste the last batch that just came out, holding a spoon of yogurt before her half-asleep face. Despite the sleepless nights and failures, there was some indescribable excitement about making yogurt in my kitchen. I was absolutely passionate about it and there was no stopping me.

Those first steps were followed by a two-year transition from that tiny kitchen to our creamery. We incorporated the peacock feather motif, a pattern used in the traditional Bulgarian pottery in our label design. Centuries ago, yogurt was made and served in these beautifully decorated ceramic bowls. We want to preserve that history and continue the tradition by using it on our very own cups.

We are confident in three things:
1) Cows should eat grass
2) We whole-heartedly love yogurt
3) With this whole-hearted love, we believe that yogurt
should be made from whole milk

We do not strain our yogurt and we keep the healthy whey. Nothing is removed and nothing is added. This is what we call natural and that’s how our Bulgarian yogurt was born in New York.

Yogurt is a huge part of the Bulgarian culture. It is the most popular food as it is used in many recipes and healing remedies. In the Bulgarian language it is called “kiselo mliak”? which translates to “sour milk”. That?s why the original yogurt is tangy and tart in its flavor. Just like a good wine that needs to age in an oak barrel to bring out the best of its flavor, this tangy and tart flavor is the required proof of the quality of the yogurt.”

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1410
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
70Small corporation
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
80Milk of integrity from local farm
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
100Organic only
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
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 certified
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
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
60Moderate cull/death rate
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
100Closed herd
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing 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
100No hormones used
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
90Representatives visit farm 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
100No outside ingredients used
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
90Organic Systems Plan submitted - very transparent. With respect to the concern of fraudulent grain imports, this brand's suppliers grow most of the feed on-farm, with some purchased on the open market.