Straus Family Creamery, a Petaluma, Calif.-based processor of organic dairy products, said it was honored with Ecovia Intelligence’s inaugural Sustainable Food Award in the Sustainability Pioneer category. The news was announced at Ecovia Intelligence’s Sustainable Foods Summit in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The summit focuses on issues the global food industry faces concerning sustainability and eco-labels, and is held quarterly in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.
“I am grateful to see my company recognized through this first-ever award in sustainable food production practices,” said Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery. “My family started dairy farming in Northern California in 1941 when my father, a refugee from Germany, purchased 23 Jersey cows. I converted our farm to organic and founded the creamery in 1994, driven by my strong belief that organic practices are key to ensuring that future generations will continue to be able to farm.”
Straus Family Creamery — which produces premium organic milk, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream and butter — runs on 100% renewable electricity generated from wind and solar sources. The transition to renewable energy has decreased the company’s operational greenhouse gas footprint by 20% annually, the company noted. With California’s farmers and businesses facing periodic drought conditions, the company has focused on water conservation, decreasing its water usage by 30% in the last seven years.
A pioneer since 2004 in using cow manure to generate electrical power, Straus’ on-farm methane digester reduces more than 1,600 metric tons of CO2e emissions annually, which is the equivalent of taking 350 cars off the road. In 2017, Albert Straus launched the country’s first full-scale electric feed truck to feed to his 280 cows, the company said.