When we set out to create Shakers, a whole milk nutritional beverage packed with essential vitamins and minerals, we searched high and low to find the perfect certified organic dairy farms and producers who could not only meet our production quantities and shelf stability requirement but also meet rigorous criteria regarding the quality of care, conditions and traceability. Our search led us all the way to a co-operative of dairy farmers and state-of-the-art production facilities located in the French country-side. Oui, oui.
Okay, so now you might be wondering, “why couldn’t you find a producer in Canada?” and that’s a fair question with an honest answer: Our comparatively small production quantities and list of requirements were simply best suited to work with a specific partner in France. And the experience has been nothing but fabulous.
Before launching Shakers, we traveled to France to tour the farms and meet the farmers, producers, and even the cows that help us make Shakers. And we wanted to share some of the highlights and experiences with you so you can see exactly how organic, whole-milk Shakers goes from farm to table.
Here is Baby Gourmet Co-founder Jill Vos making friends with some happy little organic dairy cows. Okay they’re not little… but they sure are cute. And friendly.
This lovely gentleman is a 3rd generation dairy farmer who cares for 80 organic dairy cows –alongside his sons –pictured below - who will take over the farm when he retires.
Here’s a photo of the milking stations where cows are milked 2x/day at 6am and 6pm. It takes roughly 10 minutes to milk a cow and it was important to us to see this equipment and process to get a first hand account of the milking conditions which we’re happy to report were gentle, clean and efficient.
We also wanted to check out the sleeping conditions which we joked looked clean and cozy enough for us to sleep in. We almost left our CEO Mike there to try it out. Kidding!
Just a couple of Moms checkin’ out the final product! The cows with the pink mark on their heads have recently given birth, meaning they require more nutrients that the other cows and marking them with non-toxic colouring is an important tool for distinguishing them from the herd.
On the topic of recent births, meet this new little cutie who was perhaps the snuggliest little calf ever. We can’t back that claim up with anything other than this picture.
Once we were done touring around the country-side we made our way to the production facilities where donned some very stylish get-ups and see exactly how and where everything was produced.
All in all it was a fabulous adventure and gave us an unwavering confidence in the partners we’d selected to bring Shakers from their farms to our bottles and your families.
Ready to try Shakers? You can find them in the formula and baby food aisle at your favourite grocer. Click here to download a coupon to save $2.00 when you buy Shakers!