With the growing demand for natural and non-GMO products within the industry, does that need mean that consumers can only get these kinds of products in an organic form? Clover Stornetta Farms is saying no to that notion, as it will now offer non-GMO conventional milk to retailers and consumers.
“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 company is aiming to convert its conventional products to a Non-GMO Project Verified status over the next two years, making it one of the first large scale producers in California to do so, according to a press release. The first conventional non-GMO products will hit store shelves early 2017.
Although Clover has not secured a price for its non-GMO milk, Benedetti stated to SF Gate that the company plans for the milk to cost no more than 25 cents extra per gallon. Benedetti also indicated that the company plans to absorb extra feed costs from its farmers to keep their certifications as all of the company’s dairy cows must only consume non-GMO feed.
“Our primary constituency group is moms buying milk for their children,” said Benedetti to the news source. “The organic premium is just too much for a lot of families to sustain, but they want something more than the generic conventional milk that’s out there.”
The company reiterated that the demand for non-GMO is growing, citing that 72 percent of Americans reported to Consumer Reports that it is important to avoid GMOs when shopping.
“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.”
Clover’s new non-GMO milk will take the place of its current conventional lineup, and will be sold alongside its organic options. Benedetti also disclosed to SF Gate that the company hopes to change the industry and help inspire the reduction of costs.
As this innovative offering prepares to make its secured status in the market, Deli Market News will keep you updated as the news unfolds.