California organic dairy farming leader renews the fight against climate change, doubles down on conservation
PETALUMA, Calif., (April 21, 2018) – Straus Family Creamery, an organic farming and business trailblazer, announces several ongoing sustainability initiatives leading up to Earth Day. Continuing its place as a leader in the organic products industry’s climate movement, Straus Family Creamery’s innovative programs range from resilient packaging and water conservation to carbon-free energy and electric vehicle usage. The depth and breadth of the company’s sustainability commitments place it in a thought leadership category far higher than most operations of similar size.
Sustainable organic farming practices are at the core of Straus’ operations. These practices ensure the health of farming for future generations and sustain a thriving relationship among farms, food, people, and the earth.
Resilient packaging was part of founder and CEO Albert Straus’ plan in 1994 when he decided to market his family farm’s certified organic cream-top milk in reusable glass bottles made from 30 percent recycled glass. Today, this commitment keeps an annual 500,000 pounds of milk cartons and plastic out of landfills. Milk packaged in glass bottles is becoming a significant trend in dairy cases across California and worldwide.
The West Marin creamery, which produces premium organic milk, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, and butter, runs on 100% renewable electricity from Green-e Energy certified wind and solar power sources in California. The renewable energy is purchased through Straus’ partnership with Marin Clean Energy’s Deep Green Renewable Program. The transition to renewable energy decreased the company’s operational greenhouse gas footprint by 20 percent annually.
Straus’ zero waste focus includes the recycling, repurposing, and reusing of about 90 percent of all materials used at the creamery. The waste water from the creamery is reused at the Straus Dairy Farm to flush barns and irrigate pastures. The company has seen its water efficiency increase by 30 percent over the last seven years.
“As an organic dairy farmer and business owner, I am fully committed to practical solutions like our reusable glass bottle program and water conservation initiatives that make an immediate impact. We continue to innovate with new and longer-term solutions such as carbon farming which removes carbon from the atmosphere and puts it back into the soil. This is recognized globally as a solution to fight climate change,” said Albert Straus, founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery.
Climate change is now a primary concern for many consumers, businesses and agricultural communities. A pioneer in using cow manure to generate power, Straus has operated a methane digester on his dairy farm since 2004. The digester captures methane gas from the cows’ waste and uses it to produce electricity that powers on-farm and off-farm vehicles and machinery. Today, the 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 beat Tesla Motors to market when he launched the country’s first full-scale electric truck which hauls feed to his 300 cows. This 330,000 lb. International Harvester electric truck joins electric vehicle programs already in place for Straus employees who can charge their vehicles in the company’s parking lots.
Straus recently hired Sustainability Director Joseph Button, who brings his leadership to the company’s carbon footprint reduction initiatives. Button’s primary goals over the next three years are to help develop a carbon-positive dairy model and to create a zero-environmental impact business model at the creamery.
“California dairy farmers face a mandate to reduce on-farm methane emissions by 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030,” said Button. “I’m thrilled to take on this challenge, and to work closely with Albert Straus to uphold and grow the Straus legacy of social and environmental sustainability.”
Recognition for Albert Straus’ environmental leadership continues to grow. In early 2018, Climate Collaborative and National Co-Op Grocers Association honored him with its ‘Outstanding Influencer’ award for his substantial environmental accomplishments.
About Straus Family Creamery
Based in Marshall, CA, Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California, certified organic creamery offering minimally processed milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. The Creamery makes minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus Dairy Farm, which is the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. Straus Family Creamery, the first 100 percent certified organic creamery in the United States, continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities, and protect the environment. The family-owned business sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what can otherwise be a volatile marketplace. Learn more at strausfamilycreamery.test, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Director of Communications
Straus Family Creamery
Haven B Media