Organic Standards

“We are committed to the ethical care of the goats,
protecting the environment and you.”

Why try organic?
The feed used for goats is produced without the use of animal byproducts, genetically modified grains (GMOs), herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Why try goat milk?
Goat milk is a wholesome alternative to cow milk. Goat milk offers nutritional benefits similar to cow milk, but contains more natural Vitamins A and B, and no additives.

Why try glass bottles?
Taking the steps to protect our natural resources is critical in environmental stewardship. Reduce – Reuse – Recycle.

 

Standards of Care Commitment

Hewitt’s Dairy has purchasing relationships with a small number of organic dairy goat producers.

Each producer is required to carry an organic certificate with a Canadian organic certifying body. In addition to complying with the certifying body’s organic standards, rules and regulations, our organic producers have made additional standards of care commitments to our company, and ultimately our customers:

These are the Standards of Care Commitment made to Hewitt’s Dairy by each of our Organic Dairy Goat Producers …

Raising Goats Organically

The best way to know exactly how each of our organic goats has been raised and treated is to raise them ourselves. On our farms, we raise our own kids organically from certified organic mothers. Kids have access to nursing until weaning time (approximately 8 to 10 weeks). Our goal is that all of the organic kids born on our farms will come from certified organic goats, also born on our farms.

Animal Care and Welfare

Preventative Health

The best way to raise healthy goats is to provide them with quality pasture, high-forage diets, and comfortable and clean living conditions – all of which contribute to preventative health care. Our standards prohibit the use of antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified feeds.

Treating Illness

The first and best defense against illness is prevention. However, when an animal does become ill, we rely on natural and alternative veterinary methods as our preferred treatment. The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited in organic dairy animals at all stages of their life, including kids.

If a sick animal cannot be restored to full health with organic approved treatments, we administer antibiotics or other prescribed synthetic medicines to return a kid or goat to good health. We always consider the well-being of our animals first, and never allow an animal to suffer. If antibiotics or prohibited materials are administered, however, the animal is no longer considered “organic” and must be permanently removed from the herd.

Nutrition

Dairy goats are herbivores and ruminants; their natural behavior is to graze and browse. On our farms, fresh grass and other forages (pasture, grass, hay, legumes and herbs, etc.) are the primary feed sources during the growing season. Because grass, legumes and herbs are a vital part of a healthy diet, dairy goats on our farms graze on organic pasture during the growing season.

When our goats are not grazing on pasture, they eat organic hay and feed. Our feed and forages are produced without the use of animal byproducts, genetically modified grains (GMOs), herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Grazing

On our farms, goats graze on organic pasture during the growing season (120 to 150 days depending on the growing season calendar). We feel the land also benefits from the carefully planned movement of the animals, which aerate and fertilize the soil surface and encourage moisture penetration, seed germination and carbon sequestration.

We support Canadian Standard Recommendations that calls for an average of 30% dry matter intake from grazing. However, Hewitt’s Dairy Limited strongly encourages goat farmers to maximize their goat herds’ feed from grazing during the growing season.

Pasture Management

On our farms, pastures represent more than grass. This is evident from our pasture management goal: healthier soils, animals and humans, while profitably renewing our life-supporting environment. Done correctly, organic agricultural practices positively affect our environment by rejuvenating plant growth, reducing resource degradation, and nurturing animals.

Livestock and pasture management go hand-in-hand on our farms because our certified organic pastures play an integral role in our livestock feeding program. Consistent with the regulations of OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc., we do not use harmful chemicals or pesticides that can pollute our air, water or food. Our farms use sustainable and holistic pasture management practices, work to eliminate outside inputs, and use planned grazing to improve soil fertility, plant growth and herd health.

Environmental Stewardship

We provide high quality milk through farming practices that conserve and replenish our biological resources. Our farms are committed to regenerative farm management practices, which recognize that we are part of a broader ecosystem. As such, we must respect and protect the natural world – soil, water, air, plants, and wildlife – as well as our livestock and land. As environmental stewards, our farms are focused on natural resource conservation.

We are committed to:

  • Constantly improving soil and water quality to benefit all creatures.
  • Reducing erosion and building organic matter.
  • Maintaining or improving wetlands and woodlands.
  • Eliminating the use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers which can harm wildlife.
  • Monitoring and managing water quality.
  • Focusing on animal health and productivity, which reflects the health of the land.
  • Creating sustainable plant communities through careful attention to plant diversity, age, and class structure.
  • Reducing overall energy use in farm operations.

Sourcing Inputs

All farm inputs – including feedstuffs, natural minerals, and crop and forage seed, as well as animal health care and pest control products – have the potential to affect the integrity of organic milk. Therefore, these inputs must be certified organic or approved for organic use, in compliance with OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc. and Canadian Organic Standards.

Management and Accountability

Day-to-day operations on our farms are guided by an Organic Systems Plan (OSP), which is very detailed and developed prior to the start of each year. The OSP is designed to ensure compliance with the OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc. regulations and the Canadian Organic Standards, and facilitate the audit done on our farms each year in order to receive our organic certification.

Between our own internal quality control systems and extensive record-keeping, and the oversight and enforcement through OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc. and Hewitt’s Dairy Limited, our farms are held closely accountable to meeting the highest standards for milk quality, animal welfare and environmental stewardship.

Main Guidelines exceeding OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc. and Canadian Organic Standards:

  1. 120 to 150 days pasturing
  2. Kids have access to nursing until weaning age
  3. The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited”