Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has updated its standards for dairy so that it will only sell products from pasture-based farms that meet other requirements for animal welfare and sustainability.

The retailer’s criteria for dairy suppliers are:

  • Dairy animals must be grazed for a minimum of 120 days.
  • No animal byproducts in feed.
  • No hormones, including Bovine Growth Hormone.
  • No non-therapeutic drugs.
  • No cloned animals.
  • Animals are allowed to exhibit their natural behaviors.
  • Humane treatment.
  • Nutrition needs met.
  • Shelter provided as needed.
  • No GMO alfalfa in feed.

“By only carrying pasture-based dairy we are more transparent, we give our customers peace of mind and also expand the market for dairy farms that want to raise their animals on pasture," Heather Isely, EVP, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, said in a statement.

Isely said that, in the Denver market, the cost for dairy items that meet its standards might be 10 cents more for a carton of yogurt or 80 cents more for a half gallon of milk.

The retailer created a dairy resource page on its website to educate consumers about its new requirements through articles and videos, like the one below.

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