Clover Celebrates Earth Day

Clover Sonoma April 22, 2017

 

Karen Pavone

 

For over a century, family-owned and operated Clover Sonoma Farms has been an integral part of the North Bay landscape and a powerful voice for sustainable agriculture at the forefront of the dairy business.

Among its contemporaries, Clover Sonoma Farms stands out as a model of excellence that has flourished for three generations. Known for our passionate commitment to animal welfare, community involvement, and forward-thinking leadership, Clover’s innovative approach to conservation has created impactful change that reaches far beyond our Sonoma County roots.

Since our humble beginnings, Clover has earned a reputation as a company that keeps its ear to the ground and takes consumer feedback seriously when making critical business decisions. An industry pioneer, we were the first dairy in the United States to become American Humane Certified and hold our partnership of family-owned dairies to a higher standard through our own unique North Coast Excellence Certified program (now known as the Clover Promise of Excellence). This rigorous set of criteria guarantees all Clover milk is sourced from producers who adhere to stringent guidelines for animal welfare and environmentally sound land management practices.

Putting the health of customers and our cows first has been a foundational pillar of Clover’s business ethic. In 1994 representatives from Monsanto called on then Clover President & CEO Dan Benedetti, and tried to persuade him that the synthetic growth hormone (rBST) would “increase profits and revolutionize the dairy industry but appear seamless to the consumer.”

Though many of Clover’s competitors jumped on board, Dan turned Monsanto down flat. “We will remain steadfast in our commitment to give customers the highest quality, best tasting dairy products on the market without compromising the well being of our dairy cows,” he said. To that end, Clover also became the first dairy west of the Mississippi to offer milk certified free of the growth hormone rBST.

“My dad was the first to look at milk as a commodity and address production differently,” says current Clover President & CEO, Marcus Benedetti. “He believed consumers wanted an alternative to what was being pushed in the industry, and he knew Clover could fill that niche. Thanks to his foresight, we have the cleanest milk supply in the country today. It was a courageous stand to take, but it was the right one.”

As the third generation at the helm, Marcus is determined to improve upon the company’s blueprint for sustainable farming. “We’ve always taken an innovative approach to elevating dairy through driving industry progress, building trust with consumers, and setting our own high standards,” says Benedetti.

Through the years, Clover has also made significant strides in the efficiency and sustainability of its processing plant operations, moving to green technologies like installing a solar facility at our fleet maintenance center, converting diesel trucks to cold plate technology, and using a freon-based cooling system instead of ammonia. As we move forward, we will continue to evaluate our footprint and look for innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment as a business.

Clover Sonoma is also extremely proud to be a Certified B Corps Company which distinguishes select, for-profit businesses that have met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. With this distinction, Clover Sonoma joins a growing community of more than 2,000 distinguished Certified B Corps from over 50 countries, and more than 130 industries, working together to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. This collective movement to redefine success in business has one unifying goal: to show that companies can operate as a force for good, and reflect a culture of durable prosperity for all.

It’s an exciting time here at Clover. As we stand on the horizon looking at a bright future, we join all of you in celebrating Earth Day as we each do our part to preserve the resources of our precious planet.