As the nation’s hospitality industry and its farm suppliers move toward pandemic recovery, Straus Family Creamery, a leader in organic dairy farming innovation and climate-positive business practices, reintroduces its Organic Barista Milk product line after limiting production to a narrower assortment during the first 12 months of the pandemic.

Developed in collaboration with skilled baristas, the Straus Organic Barista Milk line includes four fat levels of milk and is designed specifically for chefs and specialty coffee and tea professionals. Straus culinary customers consider the origin and the environmental impact of farming and place the same value on their milk choice as their coffee bean selection. Straus’ commitment to uncompromising quality and sustainable agriculture is equally important as the milk’s taste and performance for this community.

Unlike the Straus organic cream-top milk sold in reusable glass bottles at grocery stores, Straus’ Organic Barista Milk is lightly homogenized, which emulsifies the fat within the milk so that the cream no longer separates. Light homogenization ensures consistency in every pour and allows baristas to create decadent, rich-tasting custom beverages with indulgent mouthfeel and longer-lasting foam. The perfect emulsification of protein and fat makes Barista milk ideal for steaming while bringing out coffee’s natural sweetness and flavor clarity. Barista champs, who are often awarded for their unique latte art, choose Straus Barista Milk for its flavor and taste but also to help them achieve unforgettable micro-foam designs.

“Retrograde Baristas love that it is easy to steam and creates silky smooth micro-foam, and our guests love the richness and creaminess of Straus milk,” said Danielle Connor, co-founder and director of operations, Retrograde Coffee Roasters. “On top of the positive environmental impact, I am offering my coffee customers an unmatched flavor experience from a company with high values.”

She added, “When choosing Straus Barista Milk, I know that I am helping the planet and supporting a rural organic farming community. This makes me feel better about my choice.”

Mission-Driven Commitment to Sustainable Organic Farming

Straus Family Creamery has always prioritized organic agriculture and sustainable business practices. Today, Founder and CEO Albert Straus works to find agricultural solutions to climate change, which threatens the planet and the future of the food and farming system.

“My aspirational goal is to implement a net carbon-neutral farming model on my farm by the end of 2021. This will demonstrate how organic farming can help create a climate-positive future that is good for the planet, the community and the next generation of farmers,” said Straus.

The global pandemic and climate change-driven extreme weather events have impacted millions, from rural farmers to urban foodservice workers, exposing severe economic inequity that leaves society vulnerable when disaster strikes. Nationally, the country’s dairy farms have suffered from unpredictable pricing and consolidation, causing the number of farms to plummet by 37 percent in the past ten years. More than 11,000 dairy farms have shut down nationwide between 2012 and 2018, according to USDA data. Today, the latest numbers show there are less than 35,000 total licensed U.S. dairy farms.

Small farms have been especially hard hit, which is why Straus remains committed to advancing its mission to sustain family farms and revitalize rural communities. The family-operated company prioritizes its relationships with the 12 independent family farms that provide its certified organic milk. Straus works closely with the farmers to balance supply with demand and stabilize prices that better represent the true cost of producing organic milk. This collaborative model enables the farmers and their agricultural employees, who are essential workers, to earn a living wage and support their rural communities. Many coffee and tea industry professionals are aware of the parallels between their farmer suppliers at origin and the challenges of dairy farmers.

Packaging Choices and Availability

Baristas and discerning chefs in restaurants, bakeries, cafés, and commercial kitchens use Straus Family Creamery’s Organic Barista® Milk as a culinary ingredient and in café drinks, boba, and other tea drinks. Straus Barista Milk is sold exclusively to culinary professionals in California and the bordering states and is available in 64-ounce half-gallon containers.

Straus Family Creamery was the first to introduce Organic Barista Whole Milk to the market. Today, the company offers 0% Fat-Free, Whole Milk, and Half & Half Barista Milks and its newest addition, Extra Rich Barista Milk (4.2% milk fat) completes the Barista Milk line. The Organic Extra Rich Barista Milk features a first-of-its-kind higher milk fat content and higher milk solids than whole milk (4.2% as compared to 3.5%), creating an even longer lasting mirco-foam and creamier drink experience.

While Straus Organic Cream-Top Milk is available in reusable glass bottles at grocery stores, glass is challenging to use in a commercial kitchen. This is why Straus offers the wholesale and foodservice community its Organic Barista Milk bottled and capped in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) #2. While typical milk cartons made of mixed materials (cardboard and plastic) may be accepted at curbside pickup, they are not as widely recycled as are HDPE #2 which is the plastic with the highest recyclability rates in the United States.

About Straus Family Creamery

Based in Petaluma, Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California certified organic creamery offering minimally processed milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. The creamery makes minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus Dairy Farm, which is the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. Straus Family Creamery, the first 100 percent certified organic creamery in the United States, continues to make business decisions based on its mission to help sustain family farms, revitalize rural communities, and protect the environment. The family-owned business sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what can otherwise be a volatile marketplace.