Grass-fed products were recently identified as a top 10 food trend in 2016 by retailer Whole Foods Market. As a leader in the grass-fed dairy category, Maple Hill Creamery’s mission is to lead and expand the certified 100% grass-fed dairy segment. As part of this mission, Maple Hill Creamery announced it has entered into a milk supply agreement with Stonyfield.
Stonyfield is introducing a fruit on the bottom style yogurt made from 100% certified grass-fed milk, supplied exclusively by Maple Hill Creamery’s family of farms. The Stonyfield launch is exclusive to Whole Foods Markets nationwide for six months. The Stonyfield product is “Certified Grass-Fed by PCO” and adheres to the same high standard as Maple Hill Creamery. As part of the launch, both Stonyfield and Maple Hill Creamery are conducting a nationwide in-store sampling and educational initiative, providing grass-fed education to shoppers at Whole Foods Market throughout February and March.
“A rising tide raises all boats. While this agreement may seem surprising and counterintuitive from a competitive standpoint, it is not only in line with our mission, but is also in the best long term interest of the grass-fed dairy industry,” said Tim Joseph, founding farmer and CEO of Maple Hill Creamery.
"Our mission is to promote healthy food, healthy people, and a healthy planet, that's why everything we make under the Stonyfield brand is certified organic. Adding yogurt made from 100% Certified Grassfed milk to our Stonyfield product lineup is just one more way we can give shoppers the chance to choose food made with our mission - and our delicious recipes - in mind. And we couldn't think of a better ally on this mission than the folks at Maple Hill Creamery," said Ben Angeloni, Stonyfield’s Vice President of Marketing.
The “100% grass-fed” certification is particularly important to the category, so consumers can be assured that when they see “grass-fed” on the label that it means 100% forage all the time, with no grain, soy, corn, or other grain supplementation, ever.
Less than five percent of New York organic dairy farms raise 100% grass-fed cows. While “pastured” and “grass-fed” dairy product package claims are growing in popularity, there is no standard for these labeling claims, which are not monitored or sanctioned by the FDA. Organic dairy cows are only required to consume 30% of their feed from grazing, and are often fed a diet including grain, corn, and other non-forage feed supplements. Recently, the USDA, which oversees beef labeling, ruled to have grass-fed claims removed from beef due to a lack of a federal standard across the industry.