PETALUMA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clover Stornetta Farms, a third-generation family owned and operated California dairy, is announcing its commitment to convert its conventional milk products to be Non-GMO Project Verified over the next two years. Clover will also be one of the first Non-GMO Project Verified conventional milk products produced in California on a large scale. With a history of daring to be different to benefit its consumers, Clover is proud to announce its next major milestone to continue those traditions--elevating the brand to a new level of excellence. The first Non-GMO conventional milk products will hit shelves in the first quarter of 2017.
“We’ve always taken an innovative approach to elevating dairy through driving industry progress, building trust with consumers, and setting our own high standards,” said Clover President & CEO Marcus Benedetti. “Our focus on Non-GMO reaffirms our commitment to invest in the future of our dairy cows, family farms, and communities. Our hope is to lead the way by creating an industry-wide movement towards more Non-GMO feed options for our dairy cows. We look forward to working closely with our dairy partners to make this goal a reality.”
The Non-GMO Factor
The public is increasingly demanding food that has not been genetically engineered. The total global market for Non-GMO products is predicted to almost double between 2014 and 2019 due to a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent (Packaged Facts forecasts, 2015). In fact, according to Consumer Reports, 72 percent of Americans say that it is important to avoid GMOs when they shop; and consumers have been looking for a Non-GMO conventional milk alternative. That’s why, over the last year, Clover focused on how it could effectively and sustainably offer a Non-GMO conventional milk in response to consumer demand.
The Non-GMO Project Verified seal provides clear and trusted third-party testing and the highest standard in the world for Non-GMO avoidance. As a company, Clover has been driven to pioneer and elevate dairy, and offering a Non-GMO Project Verified conventional milk is an important next step on this path. Over the next two years, Clover will work with its conventional dairy farmers to convert their dairy cow feed to Non-GMO and align with the Non-GMO Project Verified requirements.
“As one of the first organic dairies to achieve Non-GMO Project Verification, we are pleased that Clover is continuing its efforts as a leader in the sector,” said Non-GMO Project Executive Director Megan Westgate. “Clover’s commitment to transition their conventional dairies will increase Non-GMO feed acreage in California, help family farms expand their business by meeting Non-GMO demand, and provide more choice to customers seeking Non-GMO Project Verified products.”
Food Safety and Consumer Trust are Paramount to Clover
Clover will always continue to elevate dairy and meet the desires and needs of consumers. Given the uncertainty around the unknown long-term effects of genetically engineered crops, Clover wanted to provide a Non-GMO conventional milk alternative for its consumers. Uncertainty corrodes trust and Clover has always strived to do what is best for the health and safety of its communities, land and dairy cows -- whether it’s focusing on the humane treatment of its animals or saying no to the synthetic growth hormone rBST from the beginning. Clover also established its own set of quality standards for its milk with the North Coast Excellence Certified (NCEC) program; was the first dairy in the United States to become American Humane Certified; and made an early entrance into organics. By committing to transition its conventional milk to Non-GMO, Clover continues to disrupt the dairy industry to affect change and improve the food system.
The Effect on Clover Dairy Farms
The number of dairy farms in the North Bay has declined from 135 in 1996 to 83 in 2016; and very few non-Clover conventional dairies remain in the North Bay. Clover dairy farms have survived because they are forward thinking and quick adaptors (i.e. rBST-free, North Coast Excellence Certified quality, American Humane Association certified). Clover has worked with its family farms for years to give them a competitive advantage and to help them build successful businesses that, in most cases, sustain multiple generations. As Clover has grown, the company has been able to attract new dairies in the North Bay and beyond. Clover has demonstrated the ability to build sustainable business models around added-value dairy: premium conventional, organic and now Non-GMO Project Verified conventional. Clover’s commitment to Non-GMO feed will continue to ensure a competitive advantage for the family dairy farms that supply Clover milk, and help meet consumer demand for transparency and third-party verified Non-GMO avoidance.
About Clover Stornetta Farms
Third-generation family owned and operated Clover Stornetta Farms is recognized as a leader at the forefront of the dairy industry. The Petaluma-based company in California’s beautiful Sonoma County was the first dairy in the United States to become American Humane Certified and hold its partnership of family-owned dairy farms to a higher standard by developing its own unique North Coast Excellence Certified program. Clover is proud to bring clean, rBST-free and delicious dairy products direct from our farms to health conscious consumers. The company’s passionate support of animal welfare, sustainable business practice, and local community are hallmarks of the business. For more information, please visit http://cloverpetaluma.com and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
For more information on the Non-GMO Project and to search for Non-GMO Project Verified products, see www.nongmoproject.org