Califia Farms Make Almond Milk You Can Trust

Thursday June 30, 2016 // By Samuel Goldring


As Maine goes, so goes the nation” was a trusted maxim throughout the 19th and 20th century. Today it illustrates a story about how national attention has pivoted away from Maine as a bellwether state towards California and the west. Especially when we see the same statement appropriated by pundits to describe California as being ‘at the center of a progressive momentum’.

For now it’s “as California goes, so goes the nation”.

You’ve probably taken your car for an emissions test in the past few years and overheard testers exclaiming how Californian emission standards have been adopted by car manufacturers nationally. California has also set benchmarks in civil rights, digital rights, education and health care, garnering all kinds of attention for it's progressiveness. Not least of these progressive milestones has been the seismic shift towards a sustainability revolution.

Perhaps this is because California is dealing with so many of the challenges associated with climate change before the central and eastern areas, that they’re pragmatically having to adapt and overcome, just to sustain their way of life.

Unless you’ve been living in a hyperbaric chamber with no wi-fi, you’ve probably heard that California has been predicted to shrivel up and fall off over the next decade due to water scarcity.

All apocalyptic predictions aside, there are real movements with big ideas holding back the relentless advance of the desert. At the forefront of this pitched battle you’ll find Califia Farms.

Headed by Odwalla founder Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Farms seem to be working from an ambitious vision of a shared future, where plant based nutrition will save us from our worst excesses.

“Broadly, Mindful Nourishment means being aware/mindful of where our ‘nourishment’ comes from: what it’s made of, its impact on the planet, its nutritional value, how it has been processed and created and, of course, the values of the producer behind that nourishment.”- Greg Steltenpohl

In contrast to many other glossy statements made by bottom line orientated brands, Califia has been demonstrating consistently, their resolve to follow through on the values they extoll. At the rate and scale at which they’re growing, (50% per year), they’re also demonstrating that in the absence of political action, big business can be a force for the greater good.

Located in Kern County, California, Califia’s farms are set in the heart of Almond country. The Brand was founded in 2010 by a co-operative of local farmers. Almonds are California’s third largest agricultural crop which sustains 104,000 jobs statewide and is a vital industry.

Unfortunately almond growers have been used as a scapegoat for California’s water crisis over the last five years, despite the farmer's deep connection to the land. The seriousness with which the farmers view their responsibilies as custodians of the land are values that are born out in Califia products.

When you consider the effort and resources that go into nurturing a single almond tree, you touch upon what huge undertaking it is to manage an orchard. There are those that challenge famers to justify their use of water at every opportunity, but take a moment to imagine the alternative. Farmers are the backbone of civilization, without whom we would revert back to survival-of-the-fittest, making civilisation impossible.

It’s truly a testament to farmers when you take into account, in spite of all these challenges they maintain their resolve and purpose to feed the world and nourish our environment.

Take a moment to compare the 6,870 Million Metric Tons of CO2 generated by the entire U.S. agricultural sector in 2014, to the 77m tons of CO2 generated by the U.S. military in 2014 (not including military bases overseas, equipment or vehicles).

When we look a little deeper into Califia Farms at an organizational level, it’s evident that this company is consistently matching the scale of ethical production that farmers are contributing. Every aspect of manufacturing has been assessed for impact, which has lead to the repurposing of 90% of their post-production by-product, which comes out their stated approach of “de-commodifying” the supply chain.

To understand this we have to redefine the definition of a commodity. Oxford English dictionary defines a commodity as: “A raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold”. To de-commodify a material we have to evolve in the way we think of it.

Before europeans settled the Americas and brought values concerned with rational self interest, native peoples had developed a way of life that harmonized with the natural environment which involved giving back more than they took out. In today’s market, corporations have a legal responsibility to maximize profits for their shareholders, adhering to loosely worded laws regarding environmental responsibility.

Remarkably, as Califia farms is structured as a co-operative, it’s possible for them to not be purely extractive about how they treat the almond farmer's produce, but to operate purposely and mindfully in the mutual interests of producers, consumers and the natural environment.

Rarely do products come to market that encapsulate so much of the struggle and hope of our modern predicament. We stand upon a precipice that is an unknown future. Califia farms and companies like them, shine a light into the abyss and point to a way forward by helping to construct our future, as well as the future for generations to come. When I buy my next quart of Califia farms Almond milk, I can at least feel I’m part of the solution.


Related Products

Califia Farms Barista Blend Almond Milk
Buy Product

Do you miss rich delicious foam on your morning latte? You couldn’t keep the romance alive because your dairy alternative didn’t cooperate...

item image coming soon

Case(s) of 6 Quarts - $25.50

Welcome ! Remember that any order of $1750 or more qualifies for free shipping, and that you will receive at least a $50 rebate towards freight if you spend more than $750.