Gourmetnews.com – Valley Ford Cheese Company

Valley Ford Cheese Company Earns Certified Humane® Designation

VALLEY FORD, Calif.-Valley Ford Cheese Company, based here, was awarded the Certified Humane label by Humane Farm Animal Care for its cheese on July 19.

Valley Ford cheeses originate from a closed herd of over 400 Jersey cows. The closed herd concept means no outside breeding stock is ever introduced to the existing animals, and is believed to cut down on disease and promote healthier, stronger animals

The farm is well-known for its Estero Gold Italian farmstead cheese, an aged artisan cheese, as well as a new fontina-style cheese, Highway 1, which recently won a medal at the California State Fair.

“We have a lot of pride in our product and our farm; it shows the minute you enter the gates,” said Owner Karen Bianchi-Moreda, in a prepared statement.

Valley Ford Cheese Company is located at Mountain View Jersey’s, a 640-acre dairy farm in Western Sonoma County, Calif. It has been operated by the Bianchi/Grossi families since 1918.

“We took the certification process and inspection very seriously, and believe me, the dairy and our cheesemaking processes were looked over with a fine tooth comb by the HFAC inspectors. We had nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain by becoming Certified Humane,” said Bianchi-Moreda.

HFAC is a nonprofit certification organization that aims to improve the lives of farm animals in food production. The Certified Humane designation assures consumers that meat, poultry, egg or dairy products they purchase have been produced according to the HFAC’s standards for farm animal treatment. Animals must receive a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones and must be raised with shelter, resting areas and space sufficient to support natural behavior.

Since the program began in May 2003, more than 60 companies, representing hundreds of farms and millions of animals, have been certified.