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Ingredient Sourcing

Sourcing Sustainable Ingredients

At Straus Family Creamery, our mission and values drive every decision as we strive to change the farming and food systems in California and beyond. With this aspiration always at the forefront, we established a Sustainable Sourcing Framework to identify ingredient suppliers that share our vision.

A vision focused on farmer viability, improving fair labor practices, and strengthening rural communities—with a commitment to making a positive environmental impact. Our framework includes goals, procedures, and policies that are communicated to our suppliers and help us protect ingredient integrity in every Straus product.

For nearly 30 years, we have been committed to purchasing organic and non-GMO ingredients enabling us to advance our mission to sustain family farms in San Francisco Bay Area’s North Bay region and help revitalize rural communities. We are working on paying the true cost of producing organic milk while acknowledging the social and environmental benefits that organic farmers contribute to the community.

"cacao fruits" by skinnydiver

Starting With Our Core Values

Straus sources organic milk from a local network of 12 independently owned certified organic dairy farms within 30 miles of our Sonoma County Creamery. While we purchase organic milk locally to sustain family farms in the North Bay community, we source more than 20 other organic ingredients outside our region to support other organic farming communities and bring you the best-tasting ingredients. Since 1994, there have been multiple organic farming communities that Straus Family Creamery has supported through our purchases. To guide our selection of ingredients suppliers and purchasing decisions, we follow our Sustainable Sourcing Framework’s five core expectations.

Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Kosher

All our organic dairy products are 100% certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and certified Kosher. Each supplier must provide verified certifications to guarantee the ingredients are organic, Non-GMO, and Kosher.

Respect Human Rights

Our suppliers must respect the human rights of workers and comply with all laws governing working conditions and compensation.

Support Farmer Livelihoods

Our suppliers must demonstrate a willingness to improve the economic conditions of the region’s agricultural communities.

Protect the Environment

Our suppliers strive to reduce the environmental impacts on their businesses while upholding the USDA Organic Standards. The impact goals include building nutrient-rich soil, water quality, and biodiversity and reducing the carbon footprint and GHG emissions.

Demonstrate Reliability and Transparency

Our suppliers understand our values and mission and openly share information about the organic farming practices and the community where our ingredients are sourced.

Supplier Code of Conduct

Straus uses a customized Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure all our suppliers acknowledge and understand the high standards to which we adhere.

Prioritizing multiple sustainability focus areas enables us to best identify organic ingredients and the like-minded farmers who supply the ingredients. These focus areas include human rights, business ethics, and environmental responsibility. Our sourcing framework helps us assess and identify suppliers who align with our environmental and social impact vision.   



In 1994, Straus Family Creamery became the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States. When the Non-GMO Project emerged in 2010, we became the first Non-GMO Project Verified Creamery in North America.

Prior to this certification, our founder Albert Straus implemented a non-GMO testing and verification system of all animal feed purchased by the certified organic family farms that supply us milk. We receive Non-GMO Project Verified certification for every single ingredient that goes into each of our products, whether it’s vanilla or live, active cultures for our organic yogurt; chocolate for our organic ice cream; or enzymes for culturing our organic sour cream.

There are a variety of third-party certifications available that we use to evaluate mission and values alignment when purchasing ingredients. For example, we look for  ingredients certified by various fair trade standards that meet rigorous social and economic standards, helping improve agricultural supply chains by empowering farmers and farming communities.  

Looking Ahead

Sustainable sourcing is an ongoing process that is continually evolving and progressing forward. As Straus Family Creamery continues to grow, so will the impacts of our supply chain and ingredient sourcing on farming and rural communities. Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate our impact and collaborate with our suppliers and distributors to positively transform the livelihoods, labor practices, and environmental conditions where our ingredients are grown. We have put in place three areas to focus on in the next three years:

  • Advocacy – Advocate to strengthen organic standards, join coalitions to influence policy changes, and sponsor initiatives that strengthen global supply chain sustainability and revitalize agricultural communities and the people who work and live in them.
  • Certification – We believe USDA Organic Label is the gold standard. We will continue to adopt relevant independent certifications for our ingredients, such as fair trade, to maximize positive social and environmental impacts.
  • Sustainable Partnerships – Assess our suppliers’ sustainability performance and environmental impact by investing in tools that support collaboration, supply chain needs, compliance certification, and training.
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