Good yogurts and cheeses are made using dairy sourced from farms with responsible animal husbandry, without the use of hormones, and without the use of synthetic inputs on the pastures.
The Good Food Guild relies on the expertise of the cheese community to develop, revise and set standards for the category. As US dairies and cheese crafters evolve, so do our standards. Read on to learn what those standards are and meet the cheesemakers of the Good Food Guild.
In order to join the Good Food Guild, cheese companies must meet the following criteria for at least 50% of their product line:
- Made in the USA or US territories.
- Made by the entrant’s own company, with milk from animals raised using good animal husbandry* with access to the outdoors.
- Made without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers on the pastures.
- Made without hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
- Made with rBGH-free milk.
- Made with sustainable repurposing of byproducts, such as whey, where possible.
- Made with milk from animals fed local, GM-free feed where available. Where it is not, the crafter is invested in being an agent of change towards greater availability, by working with suppliers and local granges, vocalizing their interest in this type of local feed if and when it becomes available.**
- Made with other ingredients, such as rennet, starter cultures, yogurt additions, herbs and washes that are sourced domestically or locally (where possible) and produced without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and non-GMO.
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,*** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Creating a safe and healthy work environment where employees receive a fair wage, are safe and respected at work and have access to the resources they need to keep themselves healthy.
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.***
*The Good Food Foundation will ask producers to provide The National Dairy FARM Program certification or equivalent documentation of animal care.
**Our intention is that producers make their best efforts to balance the realities of feed supplies with the ideals of responsible and sustainable production methods.
***Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.