Clover Sonoma’s Longstanding Commitment to Animal Welfare

Clover Sonoma June 12, 2019

 

At Clover Sonoma, we’ve worked with many of our dairy families for generations. We work with 30 independent family farms, not hundreds or thousands. And, our long-standing partnership has grown from a mutual understanding that we need to treat each other and our animals like family.

Animal welfare is at the core of our belief system. Clover Sonoma was the first dairy to be American Humane Certified by the American Humane Association (AHA) for our animal welfare program. AHA’s standards, and the standards for Clover’s dairy farms, are clearly defined by the governing five freedoms:

  1. 1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. 2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. 3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  4. 4. Freedom from fear and distress
  5. 5. Freedom to express normal behaviors

 

How Do We Ensure This?

We have a producer relations manager who grew up on a dairy farm, and knows what it takes to uphold high animal welfare standards. She knows the names of each family farmer, their cows, and their management styles, because she is in constant contact with the farms and visits them frequently. Big agriculture cannot do this, because their scale is too large.

Beyond the farm visits we make through our producer relations team, a selection of Clover Sonoma farms are randomly audited by the American Humane Association (AHA) every single year. As part of this audit, our farms are inspected for various components that have a direct effect on animal welfare and treatment which includes, but is not limited to:

  • -Ensuring and auditing company policy and standard operating procedures around animal welfare (five freedoms of animal welfare);
  • -Confirming an effective herd health plan with oversight by a veterinarian and nutritionist;
  • -Proper employee training and a safe environment for each animal, including caring for sick or injured cattle.

 

There are several levels of evaluation to ensure the animals are comfortable, content and properly cared for by owners and employees. At the completion of each dairy audit, a score is given. If there are any areas of concern needing improvements, the dairy must submit their plan of action to AHA with follow up by our producer relations team and further confirmation at the next audit.

Healthy cows are happy cows. We know that their quality of life directly impacts the quality and taste of their milk. The cows that are raised on our family farms have a good life: fine weather and open pasture, a diet of fresh grass, hay and grains, and most importantly, the five freedoms that we all deserve.

At Clover, we are committed to continuing to raise the bar in the dairy industry and we will not settle for anything less than doing what is right for our animals, farmers, employees, and community. Thank you for choosing Clover products and helping us continue on with Gene Benedetti’s (our founding father) legacy – to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 

Sincerely,

Marcus Benedetti

Chairman & CEO of Clover Sonoma