a2 Milk® exclusively partners with dairy farmers who are Validus certified and follow a comprehensive dairy cattle audit and assessment program backed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Farmers participate in extensive onsite audits, ongoing reviews, training and re-certification to keep their animal care practices top-notch.
Validus regularly inspects the farms and certifies each of our dairy farms, by routinely evaluating the care and handling of our cows. The auditor will examine the hygiene and physical health of each cow and monitor how they work together as a herd. Animal Welfare Review Certification is awarded to farms that follow stringent animal welfare guidelines, including:
During a Validus inspection, the dairy facility is toured, making sure feed and water are plentiful, clean, and easily accessible. They also check that the housing conditions are safe and comfortable for the cows.
Finally, an audit includes speaking with the farm manager and employees about care practices and any corrections that may be needed to maintain the strict certification. The farm workers need to be able to explain the processes and procedures they are following, or the inspection fails. Employees are offered additional training as needed to learn how to run a successful dairy farm.