Upstate Farms (Upstate Niagara Coop.)

Rating3
Farm/Brand HeadquartersBuffalo, NY
ProductsFluid milk
Websitewww.upstatefarms.com
Market AreaNY, PA
Total Score1070
CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1070
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
90Farmer-owned cooperative
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
85Cooperative milk supply with a few outside suppliers
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
70Brand markets organic and conventional products
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
60Partial disclosure
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
90Farms certified by NOFA-NY, NOFA-VT, PCO, ECO-CERT ICO, and Global Organic Alliance (GOA); Plants certified by QAI
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
0None
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
50Does not market grassfed; meets minimum standards
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
No
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
Pasture
50Meets minimum standards for pasture
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); some farms use robotic milkers
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
0No answer
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
Replacements
90Most farms are closed herd
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
Calves
75Remove calf from mother 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 used
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
50Reproductive hormones may be used therapeutically
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
90Field staff visit farms multiple times per year
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
80Some outside ingredients purchased on open market
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