Trimona Yogurt

Farm/Brand HeadquartersPort Jefferson, NY
Market AreaTX, OR, NY, CA, IL, Northeast
Total Score1400

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)1400
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated—Beyond Organic
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
70Small corporation
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
80Milk of integrity from local 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
80Markets both organic and conventional products (split operations)
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
100International Certification Services, Inc. (ICS) (farms certifier); Ecocert, ICO (processing and products certifier)
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 certified
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.
No point value – this information is offered for buyers interested in milk from cows without soy in their diets.
Soy Free Ration?
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
70Good pasture compliance
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
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
A cull and/or death rate under 10% annually receives full points.
Cull/death Rate
55Moderate cull/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.
100Closed herd
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.
75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
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 hormones used
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
90Representatives visit farm 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
100No outside ingredients used
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
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.

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