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To kick-off National Dairy Month, I thought it appropriate to talk a little bit about milk quality. After all, that’s how our delicious dairy products begin — with high quality milk. It doesn’t come by accident; milk of the highest quality comes from the healthiest of cows who are cared for by the best of people. Particularly when it comes to our aged cheddar cheeses, we believe our ability to develop the full cheddar notes and perfect texture can specifically be related to fresh, high quality milk.

I thought it would be fun to share a video I took early one morning on a cool spring day of cows as they walk in from the field to their morning milking. I also feel compelled to say that it was the first time I used my handy dandy little flip video camera, so sorry about the poor filming (I’m getting much better now).

The cows in the video are Holsteins. In the Tillamook Valley, about 60 percent of the herds are Holstein with around 30 percent being Jersey cows. The rest are a combination of Brown Swiss, Guernsey and Dutch Belt. The cows on this dairy gave such high quality milk that last year their dairy was recognized as one of the top three in our cooperative for milk quality. The award is based on an analysis of specific quality indicators. It isn’t easy to achieve, and takes a lot of hard work and desire to deliver the best possible product.

181 comments

joel hamburger

whos farm was this video taken on

July 15th, 2011 at 8:49 am

Tara

Tillamook Team

Hi Joel! Thanks for reading our blog! We actually don't disclose that kind of information about TCCA farmers or their cows, so I can't say whose farm this is. It's a way to protect farmers' privacy. Thanks for understanding!

-Tara of the Tillamook Team

July 18th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Cheryl Henry

We love your delicious vintage white cheddar cheese!

With regard to sustainability, do you test your milk for other contaminants, such as trace herbicides and pesticides? I am hoping to learn more about the purity of your products.

August 3rd, 2011 at 10:47 am

Tara

Tillamook Team

Thanks for your question, Cheryl! Quality has always been a hallmark of the Tillamook brand, beginning with the milk delivered to our facilities. We believe healthy, happy cows produce the highest quality milk. We collect fresh milk daily and test each load to be sure it meets the standards we have set to be eligible for use in Tillamook dairy products.

Our farmer-owners have each signed a pledge to never use artificial growth hormones and require the same commitment from all dairymen that supply milk for our products. Additionally, every tanker load of milk received is strictly tested for antibiotics. If any tanker tests positive, even if a trace amount is detected, the entire load will be disposed of immediately, never reaching our consumers.

We take care at every level to handle milk gently and to maintain high safety standards; from cooling milk within minutes of milking the cow to adhering to strict safety measures at our cheesemaking operations. Each year, farmers in our cooperative are awarded for their quality and consistency on a local and national level.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us at info@tillamook.com.

Thanks!

-Tara of the Tillamook Team

August 3rd, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Leanna George

Why is it I'm having so much trouble finding your Vintage Sharp Chedder Baby Loaf?Your company can't even tell me which stores sell this product.

September 24th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Jala

Tillamook Team

Hi, Leanna. Thanks for your comment. I understand your frustration. We use brokers and distributors to get Tillamook products out to grocers so they are the ones placing the orders and, thus, know where our products are being shipped. We are working on a solution that will allow us access to this information. For now, you can view stores that carry Tillamook products on our Where To Buy page.

Thanks for your patience, and for being a loyal Tillamook Fan.

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

September 26th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Alex McWilliams

What exactly do Tillamook cows eat? Do Tillamook cows graze on grass? How much exercise do Tillamook cows get?

December 18th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Jala

Tillamook Team

Hi there, Alex! Great questions. I think this may help - http://www.tillamook.com/faqs.html#faq53 and http://www.tillamook.com/faqs.html#faq52. Let me know if you have any other questions about Tillamook cows.

Jala of the Tillamook Team

December 20th, 2011 at 11:29 am

Karen

Are your cows fed non-gmo feed? Much of the animal feed including alfalfa and corn contain genetically modified organisms. Also some supplements contain GMOs. Are the feed and the supplements that you give your cows, non-GMO?

May 6th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Katy

Tillamook Team

Hi Karen, thanks for your question. Our farmer-owners and all the dairymen who supply milk for Tillamook dairy products use a variety of forages and grains for feed. While the mixture varies dairy to dairy, it’s likely to include a mix of grass, alfalfa, some corn silage, and grains such as barley or soy. All of this is balanced by a nutritionist who also adds a vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure the healthiest cows possible, and thus the highest quality milk.

The feed used by our farmers and suppliers is both home grown on our farmer’s fields and purchased. With the prevalence of GMO feed, it’s difficult to avoid; 95% of all soybean and 80% of all corn production in the U.S. is of the GMO variety making non-GMO feed hard to obtain and limited to the organic marketplace.

I hope that's helpful! If you have additional questions, the best way to reach us is using our Contact Us form: http://www.tillamook.com/contact/index.html
~ Katy of the Tillamook Team

May 7th, 2012 at 8:53 am

nancy

We purchased a package of your sliced Cheddar cheese and love it. We had never heard of Tillamook until then. We bought it at Costco last week and that is the only place we have seen it. We live in North Carolina so Tillamook is a long way from us!

I just went to your website and read about your team of dairy farmers. I admire the pride you take in your cows, land and cheese production. We will certainly buy more Tillamook products when we go to Costco. Thank you.

July 15th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Laura

Tillamook Team

Hi Nancy,

What a find! So happy you were able to get Tillamook Cheese in North Carolina. Thanks for the kind words. We take great pride in our cooperative and product so its great to hear that you do too! Thanks for being such a great fan!

- Laura of the Tillamook Team

July 17th, 2012 at 11:23 am

Heidi

I came here specifically looking to see if there were GMO's in your products. Your cheese is the best out there, hands down. I am VERY dissappointed that you don't require your farmers to not use GMO products. Scientists are now putting their names to the proof that GMOs cause Infertility, cancer, Asthma and liver problems, among other things. This is the best article I found on the subject...http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp/the%20truth%20is%20out%20on%20genetically%20modified%20foods%20-%20and%20it's%20not%20pretty I hope you will rethink your stance on it. If rBST is an issue for you, GMO should be just as important. I know it would be huge finding suppliers who don't carry GMO corn or say, but those farmers and your company should help the population, not hurt it. That is HUGE.

August 17th, 2012 at 11:47 am

Heidi

BUt with that said, at least you are honest about it. SO many companies are trying to hide the fact that they use GMO's. I just hope you change it.

August 17th, 2012 at 11:48 am

Kelly

Tillamook Team

Hi Heidi,

Thanks so much for your comment. I think you will be happy to know that Tillamook does not use genetically modified ingredients in Tillamook Cheese! I understand your concern with feed and if you have specific questions, please contact us here: http://www.tillamook.com/contact/index.html We will be happy to answer any question. Thanks for being a fan and for posting your concerns!

- Kelly of the Tillamook team

August 21st, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Kathryn

Dear Tillamook,

I'm soooo disappointed to hear that your cows eat GMO feed. I've eaten Tillamook cheese since I was a kid back in the 70's, unfortunately my family will not be purchasing in it the future due to to the GMO fact I've quoted from above:

"The feed used by our farmers and suppliers is both home grown on our farmer’s fields and purchased. With the prevalence of GMO feed, it’s difficult to avoid; 95% of all soybean and 80% of all corn production in the U.S. is of the GMO variety making non-GMO feed hard to obtain and limited to the organic marketplace. "

Regardless of whether you add GMO ingredients to the cheese when processing, GMOs are still in the cheese if they are being feed to the cows.

Very sorry to hear this. In the future we will stick to Organic Cheese.
~Kathryn

September 10th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Kelly

Tillamook Team

Thanks for sharing your feedback Kathryn. I’ll be sure to pass that along to the rest of the team. All the best!

- Kelly of the Tillamook Team

September 11th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Robin

Wow! So disappointed to read your cows eat GMO feed : (

Your cheese has always been our familie's favorite but we will no longer buy or eat it after learning all the terrible things it is doing to us. Hope your company changes that.

September 20th, 2012 at 8:15 am

Kelly

Tillamook Team

Thanks for sharing your feedback Robin. I’ll be sure to pass that along to the rest of the team. All the best!

- Kelly of the Tillamook Team

September 20th, 2012 at 11:07 am

lori

like the previous two posters, my family has been eating tillamook cheese for decades. however, given GMO foods has made my husband sick (as studies are also concluding), we are going to be buying organic cheeses only and will no longer be buying tillamook products - cheeses, ice creams, etc. do your customers a favor and let your cows graze on grass the way nature intended. you've lost us as life long customers. i also want to say shame on you and every other business who has been helping to inflict unnecessary suffering on the populace by using GMO products, which are as my spouses doctor said "crap we were never intended to eat".

September 21st, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Kelly

Tillamook Team

Hi Lori!

Thanks so much for your comment! Hearing form fans is important to Tillamook and I will make sure the Cheese Team knows about your concerns. Thanks for taking the time to let us know how you feel.

- Kelly of the Tillamook Team

September 26th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Nikki Cvit

Extremely sad to hear GMO's are a part of the feed. Buy organic milk not fed on GMO products. Do you know what it is doing to our population!
I am on the hunt for cheese that is NON GMO. Perhaps Tillamook should think about making a organic cheese. I am sure it would sell well!

September 30th, 2012 at 9:22 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Nikki,
Thank you for sharing your opinions on our products. It's important to us that we know how our consumers feel, and I will be sure to pass your comments along to the team. Please note that Tillamook Cheese does not contain any GMO ingredients. You might find this link helpful.

-Amalya from the Tillamook Team

October 3rd, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Patrick Hauber

Dear Tillamook,

Your cheese tastes amazing. It smells amazing. I would love it, except that I choose not to eat it, because somewhere out there, a farmer who grows part of your cow feed is wondering whether or not to trust the Lord Jesus in growing food, or to use GMO seeds to increase crop yield. If we as men and women want to grow more, we should definitely pray. Work the land, not the lab!

Thanks for responding to all the above posts that were critical of you for using GMO feed. And I hope, thanks in advance for never using GMOs again!

Patrick

October 5th, 2012 at 10:20 am

erika

I have to say that I really appreciate you publicly sharing your stance on GMO's in your cheese. I came to your website today seeking that very information and I am pleased to see your transparency on the issue - when many others would simply lie.

Like the others before me, I've been a loyal customer for years, and I am truly disappointed that your company doesn't understand that cows fed GMOs are not "healthy, happy cows" , nor do they "produce the highest quality milk." As of today, I will no longer be buying your products.

I think your company is in a unique position to support some of your farmers getting their organic certification. You can provide them with incentives - since you already know that you will have a market for your organic cheese - organic being one of the fastest growing markets at this time - it's not like they will go through the certification process and not have anyone to sell their milk to AND it's not like you're going to get your hands on all of this organic milk and not have a market to sell it to. It's in their best interest and yours.

Or help your collective of dairy farmers to get the non-GMO feed they need by providing incentives to soy, alfalfa, and corn farmers to grow the GMO free products that your farmers need. If you can get a collective of farmers to grow the milk you need for your products, why can't you get a collective of farmers to grow the GMO free feed your cows need? You aren't some tiny, artisan cheese maker, Tillamook Cheese Company, you're a huge manufacturer - why don't you use some of your power to do the right thing and get those GMOs out of the cows who make the milk for your cheese?

October 6th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Patrick, thank you for your comments and for sharing them here on the Tillamook Blog. I will make sure to pass your feedback along to the rest of the Tillamook team.
Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

October 10th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Erika, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate where you’re coming from, especially as a long-time Tillamook fan. I will be sure that the rest of my team hears your comments.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

October 10th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Laura

Hi there,
I'm with Erika. The GMO thing is too big to ignore. Even if you don't certify organic,.. In fact, it may be more important to go GMO-free. These are untested products - at least, untested in a way that matters. And no, cows eating GMO products can't possibly be happy healthy cows. Monsanto, the primary producer of GMO products doesn't have a stand-up reputation for doing the right thing, honesty, integrity, or anything else your company seems to stand for.

I have bought your products for years, been to your factory, and have often recommended your cheese. But I can't in good conscious do that. now. I do appreciate your transparency - thank you for that.

I'd love to see Tillamook be one of the company's contributing to and supporting California's right to know currently on the ballot. And soon, we'll have a similar measure on an upcoming ballot in Washington state. And then take steps to make it so with your own products.

Thank you.

October 21st, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Laura,
Thank you for your comments and for sharing them here on the Tillamook Blog. I will make sure to pass your feedback along to the rest of the Tillamook team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

October 24th, 2012 at 10:38 am

Jonathan

Dear Tillamook team,

We love your cheese and your spirit and yours has been our primary cheese for many years., However, we are also determined to eliminate GMO products from our family food supply as much as we are able. We wish you could offer that alternative for us at Costco, and we would gladly pay more for such a product.

With California soon to require labelling of GMO, perhaps you can get ahead of the curve on this issue and take advantage of this quickly exploding market. We would prefer your product if available, but we feel strongly that we need to move away from as many sources of GMO contamination as possible.

All the best to your team,

Jon

October 25th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Jon,
Thanks for making Tillamook your cheese of choice for so many years! Your feedback is incredibly important to us, so thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! I'll be sure to pass your comments along to the rest of the Tillamook Team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

October 26th, 2012 at 10:07 am

Mei

Dear Tillamook Team,
I have to agree with the above posts! I used to buy Tillamook all the time for my family to enjoy, your Vintage White Cheddar is simply the best! However, I switched to buying grass fed cheese about a year ago since a good majority of the feed is GMO. I would love to be able to purchase Tillamook again, but am unable to until you switch to a GMO free feed. Perhaps you could even produce an organic version for those of us who'd rather not be part of the GMO experiment, I know I'd certainly be willing to pay more for it!

Thanks,
Mei

October 28th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Mei,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your opinion with us. It's important that we know how our consumers feel and I will certainly make sure the rest of the team hears your feedback.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

October 30th, 2012 at 7:24 am

Karen

Hi,
I too have been buying your cheese for my family for 30 years. I have chosen your cheese over other brands because of its high quality and lack of growth hormones in the milk. I toured your factory on a vacation in 93. I was just checking up on whether you used GMO feed for your cows and it looks like you don't. I am very disappointed to find this out. Would REALLY appreciate being able to purchase cheese that is made with GMO/hormone/antibiotic* free milk. I don't mind having to pay a little more to get the better quality ingredients. (Of course, I realize animals who get sick need meds sometimes -- I am referring to the practice of giving them when they aren't needed)

Please let me know when you have GMO free cheese!

October 30th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Karen,
Thanks for your feedback. We sincerely value input from our loyal customers, and with that in mind I wanted to try to provide a little clarification on some of the things you mentioned in your comment. As we’ve mentioned in some of our other responses to commenters here on the blog, the farmer-owners and all the dairymen who supply milk for Tillamook dairy products use a variety of forages and grains for feed. The feed used by our farmers and suppliers is both home grown on our farmer’s fields and purchased. It is extremely difficult, if not impractical particularly for small family farms like our co-op members, to source any feed for cattle that is 100% verified as GMO-free, given how pervasive GMOs are in the grain supply chain in the U.S. Even organic feed for organic farms is extremely difficult to verify as GMO-free because of cross pollination in the field. This is why feeds are eliminated from the language in California’s Prop 37, which instead focuses on companies that are intentionally adding GMO ingredients directly to their products – something we do not do at Tillamook.

Also, with regards to antibiotics, it's important to know that our farmer-owners depend on healthy cows for business success, and we have strict policies in place to ensure antibiotics never reach our milk supply. While milking cows are not typically given antibiotics, sometimes, as you mentioned, when an individual animal is sick it is necessary for farmers to medically treat them with an appropriate antibiotic (just like humans do). During their treatment, the animal is taken out of the milk-producing herd, and their milk is not used until the cow is tested to show that the antibiotics have cleared their system. As an additional precaution, every tanker of milk we use is tested for antibiotics. If a tanker tests positive, for even a trace amount, the entire load will be disposed of immediately, never reaching you, our customer.

Also, please note that Tillamook Cheese is naturally aged and made with the highest quality milk available from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones. We make our cheese slowly and let it age naturally with time to develop the best flavor possible.

We understand the GMO topic in particular is a sensitive one, and we will continue to closely monitor it in the weeks and months ahead and, in the meantime, we will continue our commitment to practicing good sustainable practices on the farm including delivering quality animal care, ensuring our milk is free of antibiotics and produced in the most natural way possible, and taking numerous steps to protect the quality of the Tillamook Bay watershed. We do hope you will continue to enjoy Tillamook products.

Thanks again for reaching out to us.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

November 2nd, 2012 at 10:36 am

Jaime

As an Oregon native I've grow up on Tillamook ice cream and cheese. It has always been a staple in my refrigerator. Sadly I can not support any company that can't support my need for GMO free food. Unfortunately I will not be buying your product anymore. I really hope Tillamook can come to some kind of resolution for this. Until then I will have to find an alternative to my favorite cheese for the past 40 years.

November 18th, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Jaime,
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I will be sure that the rest of the team hears your comments.
Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

November 19th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

John P

I am upset to hear that tillamook has GMO's in their cheese, I WILL NO LONGER BE BUYING YOUR PRODUCTS.
You better grow your own feed and get with the program because GMO's are going to bankrupt you. We are a growing force and we will no longer put up with this GMO crap.

November 19th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

shawna

Just wanted to say I don't want GMO in my food either. I wouldpay more and do pay more for non GMO food. please make a Non GMO product. Your consumers will support you.

November 23rd, 2012 at 1:57 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi John,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will make sure that the rest of the team reads your comments.
Sincerely,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

November 25th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Shawna,
Thank you for voicing your feedback. I will be sure that the rest of the team hears your thoughts.
Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

November 25th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Nicole

Wow! I really do love Tillamook cheese and I can see that many other people do. It is evident from so many comments from so many people encouraging Tillamook to make a commitment and only use naturally feed and grazed cows, the way the Good Lord intended, that people love your cheese. We all know that Tillamook has high integrity to bring cheese of high quality to our tables and for this we gladly pay extra. And gladly will we rejoice when Tillamook takes care that the cows they use lived healthy happy lives eating unmodified grains from the earth. And once more we will pay extra. This is because we love your great product. Thank you Tillamook for being a company that we can believe in. Now bring us the cheese!

Sincerely,
Nicole

"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23

December 1st, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Nicole,
Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your commitment to Tillamook and your passion for high quality cheese. I will be sure to pass your comments along to the rest of the team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

December 3rd, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Vali

I am aware that most corn and soy are gmo, but I wasn't aware to the extent of the cheese I have been eating. I assumed Tillamook had the highest quality but since finding out your farmers use gmo feed, I will no longer eat your cheese. There are cheeses made without gmo fed cows and there are feeds without gmo in them. I would be willing to pay the higher price for "good" cheese. So disappointed to know your farmers had to succumb to Monsanto's poisoned crops. If your farmers were to use higher quality feed, the cost may be more, but the cost to humanity would be less.

December 30th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Vali,
I will make sure to share your comments with the rest of the team. I appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

December 31st, 2012 at 10:12 am

Hedda

Thank you for your honesty in this thread, but I agree with other posts: I am disappointed to learn that your products are not gmo-free. I hope that Tillamook will consider the broader implications of supporting the market for gmo-fed livestock. As a leader in your industry, please do right by your loyal customers: provide healthy products with unadulterated ingredients.

Thank you,
Hedda

January 8th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Hedda,
Thank you for your comment and feedback. I will be sure to pass it along to the rest of the Tillamook Team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

January 9th, 2013 at 8:20 am

Lori

I too have been a long time consumer of Tillamook cheese...I have been feeding your cheeses to my kids since very young. We are a GMO free household and eat mostly organics. I was extremely disappointed to hear that you feed your cows GMO feed and will discontinue using Tillamook immediately starting with the new one I just bought in the fridge being returned to the store tommorrow... until that changes we will have to buy else where.

January 13th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Lori,
Thank you for voicing your feedback with us here. I’ll be sure to share your comment with the rest of the team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

January 16th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Laura S

I am going to chime in with everyone else in expressing disappointment at the farmers possibly using feed that has GMO grains and soy. Is Tillamook considering updating it' stance on GMO ingredients in their feed?

Your products are amazing, but I will stop buying them until things change. I do not feel comfortable feeding them to my family.

Thanks for all your great input on this thread! It really shows you care.

Laura

January 21st, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Laura,
Thanks for your feedback. We know the GMO topic is a sensitive and important one to some consumers. At times, it can also be complex. As we've mentioned in other comments here, it is extremely difficult, if not impractical particularly for small family farms like our co-op members, to source any feed for cattle that is 100% verified as GMO-free, given how pervasive GMOs are in the grain supply chain in the U.S. Even organic feed for organic farms is extremely difficult to verify as GMO-free because of cross pollination in the field. This is why feeds were eliminated from the language in recent ballot measures, which instead have focused on companies that are intentionally adding GMO ingredients directly to their products – something we do not do at Tillamook. Please know that we are passing along all concerns and suggestions expressed here to our leadership team. In the meantime, we remain committed to making all our products with the highest quality milk, in the most natural way possible.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

January 22nd, 2013 at 8:35 am

Karen

We really love your cheese, but buy mostly organic and have decided to go all organic to be sure that our familly is getting non GMO food. We hope that you will have an organic sharp cheddar coming or at the least non GMO!!

January 23rd, 2013 at 11:41 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Karen,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us here. I will be sure to share you feedback with the rest of the team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

January 23rd, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hope

Along with most everyone else, appreciate the honesty, but you just lost another long time customer for the gmo feed.

January 30th, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

Dear Tillamook,

I am deeply saddened to learn that your cows are fed GMO feed. I personally believe that happy/healthy cows DO NOT eat GMO-feed, as nature did not intend so.

What are you suggesting since "given how pervasive GMOs are in the grain supply chain in the U.S. Even organic feed for organic farms is extremely difficult to verify as GMO-free because of cross pollination in the field"?
Are you suggesting that one should just give in to Monsanto and allow themselves to be science experiments simply because of how pervasive the crops are? We as consumers need to protect ourselves, and we will stop at NOTHING to do so.

I recently implemented a completely GMO-free diet, and will have to (unfortunately) give up eating Tillamook products. I can no longer purchase these in good faith, since it is clear that these cows aren't as happy and healthy as Tillamook likes to pretend. I appreciate the transparency here, but I will only be buying organic cheeses from now on.

February 3rd, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Hope,
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us here. I'm so sorry to hear we're losing you, but we certainly respect your decision. Please know that I will share your comment with the rest of the team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

February 4th, 2013 at 10:32 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi there,
Thank you for voicing your feedback with us here. I will be sure to share your comments with the rest of the team.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

February 4th, 2013 at 10:33 am

David

When I found out that your milk suppliers had difficulties avoiding GMO feed for their cows, I wasn't surprised in the least. The grain supply in the U.S. is indeed overrun with GMOs and I think few consumers actually take the time to consider who it is they should be voicing their discontent to. I'll at least throw you a bone here and say I frankly couldn't care less. You keep doing your thing and I'll keep buying your cheese.

February 9th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi David,
Thanks for your comment! I appreciate your understanding that this is a complex issue and I am so glad to hear that you continue to enjoy Tillamook products. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Best regards,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

February 11th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Lisa B.

Dear Tillamook Team,
I recently moved to Oregon and was pleased to hear that you don't allow rBST in your dairy yay!!! We passed by your factory this last weekend ( too late for a visit), but it is on our bucket list to go on a tour and eat some goodies in the near future! See you soon!

February 13th, 2013 at 8:35 am

Amalya

Tillamook Team

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for your comment and welcome to Oregon! I'm so glad to hear you're planning to visit the Cheese Factory!
Can't wait to see you there!

All the best,
Amalya, of the Tillamook Team

February 13th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Scott

I just purchased some of your ice cream. While i'm thrilled that it dosen't contain bovine growth hormone, I was concerned about some onlf the other ingriendients on the label. Reading your posts here you state that Tillimook does not add GMO ingriedents to your products. Listed on the label is corn syrup and sugar. I have recently heard that the majority of sugar is now GMO beet sugar, and corn is certainly a concern. Please comment on whether these ingriendients are NON-GMO sourced. I too am getting fed up with the contamination of our food.

March 2nd, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Ashley

If the cows are fed GMO feed does that mean that they are unable to move around and graze? My biggest concern is the treatment of the cows, really. I've seen so many terrible documentaries where the cows are strapped to milking machines, and they look absolutely miserable. Or is it a farm by farm basis? I just want to know what their living conditions are like.

Thanks you!

March 14th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for reaching out with your questions. I want to assure you that at our cooperative, our farmer-owners and contract suppliers are committed to producing a safe, high quality milk supply by providing their herd with a nutritious diet, good medical care and healthy living conditions. They follow industry best management practices and apply other practices that are best suited to their herd and environment. Many dairy farmers house their animals in freestall barns, which allows the cows to move about to eat, drink or rest whenever they like. These barns let in fresh air and sunshine, and also provide shade and protection from the wind, cold and rain. Our member-owners and all of the farmers who supply milk for Tillamook products have a commitment to quality, and that means taking good care of their cows and the land, because not only is it their livelihood, but it is also the right thing to do. If you’d like to chat more about this, please feel free to reach out to us here.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook Team

March 19th, 2013 at 9:54 am

Geoff

You can add my name to the list of those who will not purchase cheese made through cows who are fed GM grain. It is interesting how your company has avoided the question of whether or not you test for pesticides in your cheese or not. That response is telling.

March 20th, 2013 at 11:16 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Geoff,

We’re sorry to lose you, but certainly respect your decisions. Tillamook always has and always will be an organization that listens closely to our customers and seeks to respond to questions as clearly as possible. Please be assured that there are strict government standards in place to ensure that milk is safe, wholesome and nutritious. Pesticides are used sparingly in crop production and do not pose a health concerns in U.S. dairy products. We perform several tests on our milk to ensure it meets our strict standards for quality and safety. Currently, while a test specifically for pesticides is not routinely performed every day, we can assure you that Tillamook milk is safe. Additionally, dairy farmers consistently meet or exceed the strict regulations set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency about farm practices involving the use of pesticides.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 3rd, 2013 at 11:51 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Scott,

Thanks for reaching out to us. We know the GMO topic is a sensitive and important one to some consumers, and we want to be as accurate as possible in responding to questions and concerns about it. First and foremost, the core ingredients in all our products are milk and cream of the highest quality produced in the most natural way possible, and neither of these ingredients have exposure to GMOs. In regards to some of the additive ingredients – particularly to our ice cream and yogurt – the answers are a bit more complex. At this time, and in the absence of any clear standards or definitions around genetically modified substances, it is hard to categorize which ingredients are – with certainty – GMO-free. We do use some ingredients like natural flavoring (e.g. sugar or corn syrup for sweetening), natural coloring (e.g. beet juice), and stabilizers (e.g. corn starch and soy lecithin) that have the possibility of being derived from GMO sources because of the pervasiveness of GMOs in agricultural crops in the United States.

Tillamook always has and always will be an organization that listens closely to the suggestions and concerns of our customers, and please know your input will be shared with our leadership team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 5th, 2013 at 11:49 am

Jill

I love Tillamook cheese but am so sad to hear about GMOs in feed. I too will be passing over Tillamook in search for a healthier choice for my family. I sincerely hope that Tillamook will take a stand on this important issue!

April 9th, 2013 at 9:09 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jill,

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. I’m sorry to hear that we’re losing you as a fan, but we certainly respect your decision. I’ll be sure to share your comments with the rest of the team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 12th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Cody

I will not be buying anymore Tillamook cheese since finding out that the cows are not on pasture like they are supposed to be and are sadly eating GMO feed which is not even real food. I have felt some ill effects from

April 15th, 2013 at 11:55 am

Erica

Hi Tillamook team,

What is the average life span for your dairy cows?

Thank you

April 17th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Dorothy

Wow!!! You guys are amazing at responding back especially with such an intense topic!! I like the others am deeply saddened to hear that your cows are fed feed containing GMO's! We have been buying Tillamook products for years because we LOVE them!! Our children LOVE them but unfortunately we can no longer support Tillamook! I hope and pray that Tillamook reconsiders! As people we are becoming more aware and alert of the things we are putting into our bodies and let me assure you that as people are removing GMO's from their homes and grocery lists they are also acting as voices to warn others! So when other families inquire as to what is non GMO we help and educate each other! The non GMO movement is growing incredibly, I really hope that you all fix this growing problem so that we can all become loyal customers again!! Where there's a will there's a way and I promise you the people will support the change no matter the cost!! After all the health of my family and others families are worth the cost!!

I hope you all have a blessed day!! Sincerely Our non GMO family!!

April 18th, 2013 at 7:21 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Cody,

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment, and I’ll be sure to share your comments with the rest of our team.

Thanks again,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 19th, 2013 at 9:12 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Dorothy,

Thank you for your comments. We sincerely appreciate your input, and we understand that this topic is a sensitive one for some of our fans. Please be assured that I will share your feedback with the rest of the team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 19th, 2013 at 9:13 am

Linda Jensen

I will encourage EVERYONE that I know to NOT BUY YOUR BRAND! Either you Do or you Don't use GMO's in your products. Your answer is yes. So you sell things that include ingredients that can cause autism, cancer, auto-immune diseases, crohns disease, skin rashes , ultimately death!

NO GMO'S!

April 19th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

John Diaz

Dear Sir, I have always supported and endorsed your company for standing up against Monsanto. However, I am saddened to hear that my product I have been buying from you does come from cows fed Gmo. Glysophate residue on grains have been found at 7 ppm on this feed. Organic damage in rats occured at .1ppm. This study just came out search: gmo corn glysophate residue study. I am sorry but I cannot buy your product anymore till you either have the USDA seal or is Gmo Project verified. I do not understand your reasoning on the Gmo / pesticide issues. You say you reject milk if it has pesticide contaminants and from rbght but allow a game of genetic roulette to be played with our children whom are most vulnerable to these foriegn genes. The Presidential Panel on Cancer 2010 warns us to access our food Grass Fed Beef and free of new untested novel methods of food production. Please take the time to read this report. It is very easy reading.

April 21st, 2013 at 1:48 pm

John Diaz

Amalya, your comment to Karen posted 11am-2 was not entirety accurate. Prop 37 required the labeling of products that were genetically modified in a labratory. This pertained to
seed or animals. Initiatives have to be very specific and can only pertain to one item or they can be contested in the courts.. Either we were to chose one or the other. As in this case it would be secondary contamination from the feed because cows are not yet labratory GM animal. The Gmo. issues were numerous and lengthy as it was so we chose we went with items directly modified. We really wanted to include all gmo even in the feed but we could not it it meant that for all our work it would be overturned in court. Any question write John Diaz Orange area Leader for Labelgmos.org at Diazjohn9@aol.com

April 21st, 2013 at 3:04 pm

K R Romm

Dear Tillamook,

I am appalled at the lack of understanding and the criticism that Tillamook has endured because so many people fail to read the statistics and facts that Tillamook so generously & transparently shares with consumers. I have eaten Tillamook products my entire life, and have continued that legacy in feeding my own family including my 16-year-old daughter who is strong and healthy and enjoys life without the ailments that many activists claim are caused by GMO foods. I am saddened by many peoples unwillingness to think logically about the negative economical impact that going strictly-GMO would have on local farmers in your co-op… Not to mention dairy farmers across the country. (I am also discouraged by the same people, who are throwing a fit, and the fact that they just assume Tillamook can snap their fingers and completely revamp every single dairy farmers system of feed so that it's 100% GMO free. That is an unreasonable expectation.) To those people who were not raised with an agricultural background in their lives, it's easy to just think an extra few bucks for a product is reasonable. However for those families producing these agricultural products, such as milk, would find that a few extra dollars on their product could be criplling, even to the extent of the end of their livelihood. (If agriculture suffers we all suffer.) And it is very frustrating that people refuse to take into account the good intentions of your co-op farmers, and the fact that they HAVE abandoned so many other traditional farming practices in order to provide the best quality care for their animals. These farmers are not barbarians. They take pride in providing healthy, happy lives for their animals which in turn yield a wonderful high-quality product, using the most natural methods available to them. So many consumers get riled up by sensationalists and instead fail to hear the facts that Tillamook strives to exceed strict federal requirements & standards of production, not to mention the fact that Tillamook itself does not operate the dairies directly, but that it is a co-op of dairy farmers who provide the milk & cream that Tillamook works with, therefore Tillamook cannot control each & every gram of feed consumed by the animals...not to mention every single particle of pollen that transports between fields whose crop is destined to become feed (GMO is in the air we breathe, people!) And the same activists (and/or consumer terrified by activists' documentaries & propaganda campaigns) choose to ignore the fact that Tillamook has repeatedly stated their position of strict testing & acceptance of only milk & cream that tests WITHOUT a trace of GMO.

My belief is simply this, if you disagree with how others do things, do those things for yourself. If you want your milk products to be 100% organic and 100% hormone-free and 100% antibiotic-free and 100% GMO-free in all forms, if you want that much control, then get yourselves your own cow. Get your own farm. Get yourselves your own production facility. Provide those products for yourself, rather than expecting everyone else to abide by your preferences of the moment. You'll find out how difficult it is to regulate & manage every single POSSIBILITY just to satisfy what you thought was no big deal. May the dairy-farming fairies be with you. And may you master the control of wind & jet streams so as to avoid the desecration of your precious pure system you hope to establish.

I want Tillamook to know that I hear you loud and clear. I want you to know that I am satisfied with the high-quality product that your company produces. I want you to know I am grateful for the quality conditions in which these dairy cows live, as a direct result of your co-op farmers striving to meet your strict standards of excellence, not just as an attempt to be financially successful, but in order to be conscious of the responsibility back to the animals & the earth. I appreciate the respect you have for what your company and your co-op has been blessed with. My family and I love all of The Tillamook products we are able to purchase, including cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, sour cream, etc. We love the taste, we love the texture, we love the quality (we truly CAN taste the difference between your products and the competition)! We will continue to be loyal Tillamook customers for the rest of our lives. … The only thing my family's refrigerator is missing, that would make our love for Tillamook complete, is Tillamook milk itsself. When I can purchase that from my local grocer I will be ecstatic! Thank you for all that you do!

April 24th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Erica,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your question. Caring for dairy cattle is a full-time job, and our member-owners and all of the farmers that supply milk for Tillamook products have a commitment to the well-being of their animals, not only because ultimately the animals are the farmers’ livelihood, but also because it’s simply the right thing to do. All dairy animals are provided comfort and safety around the clock while they are in the care of the farmer, from the animal’s birth to the end of life. The average life span of a milking cow is approximately 4 to 7 years, however, some dairy cows remain productive members of the herd for considerably longer.

If you would like to talk more about this topic, please feel free to email us through our Contact Us page.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 25th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Danielle

Hello there,
I am an Oregonian native, and actually have a family member who worked at the factory for some time. Tillamook, by far, surpasses taste and texture to any other grocery store cheese. My personal favorite is the Swiss, and my childrens is the cheddar. We're a pretty average family with not too many qualms. I do however have a few comments/requests to note upon.

You mentioned about grain being such a demand for your cows, that you have to search out of the natural realm of food production for your cows and can't always do GMO free. If you ask me, I think it's an excuse to stay a large/not so local company. I understand that it may be difficult to stay GMO free, as well as hormone, but it isn't impossible. We as a whole, need to support the small farmers and businesses who choose natural over modifed. And by supporting Monsanto it isnt thinking about your consumers well being.

I have so many friends that don't care or don't know about all the negatives to what gmo actually is and does, but it doesn't mean it should still happen. If my child is in a park around a smoker, I ask the person to stop, and move away when they haven't. I don't continue to let my child breath it in just because it's a free country for the smoker.

I emplor you're company to search elsewhere for healthier food for the cows, or downsize for the sake of health for the cows and consumers. I also ask you to remove the color added to the cheese, it just isnt necisarry or needed. colors are a weird gimic that aren't enjoyed these days. Milk isn't orange, why should our cheese be?

Think about the trend you'd be setting. So many other companies would be needing to compete with what is already great, and now 100% natural. You would be raising the bar for everyone, and gaining respect from farmers and consumers both!

Until then, I'm gonna have to say bye bye :(
Best regards
Danielle

April 27th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

tressa

I absolutely love this cheese, i've been eating for a few years. However i am like everyone else with the GMO and having to go through the list of everything i eat and cut out what may have traces and may not. So i am just saying with everyone else, please get to making a cheese where the cows don't eat the GMO feed. your cheese hands down the best there is. (you don't have to reply to this, just add my name to the list of people who want a GMO free cheese) i just think if all of us speak out and let you know how much we love you and would support your change, maybe through love you will change.

April 29th, 2013 at 6:01 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Linda,

Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. Please be assured that I have passed on your comments to the rest of our team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 2nd, 2013 at 9:48 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi John,

Thanks for sharing your feedback. I understand that the GMO topic is important to some of our fans, and I’ll be sure to share your comments with the leadership team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 2nd, 2013 at 9:48 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Danielle,

Thanks for reaching out to us here. I’m sorry to hear we’re losing you as a fan, but we certainly respect your decision. Please know that Tillamook always has and always will be an organization that listens closely to the suggestions and concerns of our customers, and please know that your input will be shared with our leadership team.

Best regards,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 2nd, 2013 at 9:49 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Tressa,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I’ll be sure to share your comments with the rest of the team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 2nd, 2013 at 9:49 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi KR,

Thanks for your support and understanding! I’m so happy to hear that you continue to enjoy our products. Thanks again for sharing your feedback with us.

All my best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 2nd, 2013 at 9:49 am

Navi

Hi guys!

I adore your products, defiantly the best tasting around (wish I guys sold milk too).
And I've read all the comments and an saddened by the lack of understanding!
Don't worry, I'll continue to buy tillamook just as I always have, but I should really suggest you start selling the milk that makes your fabulous products!

May 12th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

jen

GMO fed cows!!! :( I'm super bummed

May 26th, 2013 at 4:05 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Navi,

Thanks for being a Tillamook fan! I don’t know of any plans to add milk to our product line, but I’ll share your request with the product development team. Thanks again for your understanding and support!

All my best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

May 29th, 2013 at 11:26 am

Susan

I agree with the statements that GMO fed cows are not happy healthy cows. Once I changed my dogs food to be GMO free she looked and acted 5 years younger and healthier, walking better within 2 days of the change. GMO's hurt humans and animals. Please help your farmers keep their cows GMO free,

May 30th, 2013 at 9:53 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. We do try to keep the Tillamook blog family friendly, so unfortunately, I’m unable to post your comment. If you’d like to talk more about your concerns, please contact us here. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 5th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Lena

I have been eating Tillamook cheese since I was a kid..it is by far my favorite cheddar. The more I learn about the GMO factor, the more concerned I become. Does your company ever plan to produce an organic variety of cheeses? I would be sad to stop buying your cheese!

June 5th, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jen,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Please know that your feedback will be shared with the rest of the team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 12th, 2013 at 9:26 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Susan,

Thanks for voicing your input. Tillamook has and always will be an organization that listens closely to the concerns of our customers, and please know that your feedback will be shared with the rest of the team.

Best regards,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 12th, 2013 at 9:26 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Lena,

Thanks for reaching out to us, and for being a fan of our cheese! While I don’t know of any current plans to offer certified organic products, I’ll be sure to pass on your comments to our leadership team. Thanks again for taking the time to share your feedback.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 12th, 2013 at 9:26 am

John Diaz

I keep reading your remarks about the Gmo problem with the poor farmer having to verify non gmo quality having to a hardship on them.. Did you forget that you banned the use of rbgh causing hardship to those who continued to use rbgh? Just like rbgh, a new Gm Grain Pig Feeding study (google those words) show inhuman digestion problems to animals. Now, with that said, there area many non gmo cheese manufacturers that are certified organic or Non Gmo Project verified. How can they source the items they need for certification?
So what happened here? Did your company change hands as in - bought out? I'm no avitar. I'm just trying to sort things out.

June 14th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Nisha

I have to conquer with the many above. My family has loved your cheese, but we will no longer be purchasing your products until we can be sure that your food is Certified GMO free. We have moved to 100% organic and certified GMO free foods recently and feel your company would only benefit from moving in this direction.

June 16th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Kristin

I have been eating Tillamook Cheese since I was a child... I made a point when we moved to California from Oregon to find Tillamook Cheese so I could feed it to my children. I came on your site today to find out if you have GMO's in your products. So sad to see that you do. Please listen to so many of us who have posted, we love your product but can not consume GMO foods due to heath reasons. Please consider offering Certified Organic and GMO free products. I for one would spend more money if necessary on these products from Tillamook.

June 19th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi John,

Thank you for your questions. Tillamook County Creamery Association is a farmer-owned cooperative as it has been for more than a century, with approximately 100 farm-family members who all take animal care very seriously. We understand that the GMO topic is an important issue to some of our consumers, and we want to be as accurate as possible in responding to questions and concerns about it. At this time, and in the absence of any clear standards or definitions around genetically modified substances, it is difficult to know if the feed purchased for every cow contributing to our milk supply is GMO-free. In today’s market, it is extremely difficult to source feed for cattle that is 100% verified as GMO-free, given how pervasive GMOs are in the grain supply chain. Even organic feed for organic farms is extremely difficult to verify as GMO-free because of cross-pollination.

If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to Contact Us so we can have a more in-depth conversation.

Tillamook always has and always will be an organization that listens closely to the suggestions and concerns of our customers, and please know your input will be shared with our leadership team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 28th, 2013 at 8:17 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Nisha,

Thank you for your feedback. We’re sad to be losing you as a consumer, but we certainly respect your decision. Please know that I have shared your comments with the rest of the team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 28th, 2013 at 8:18 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Kristin,

We understand that the GMO topic is important to some of our consumers, and we appreciate you voicing your thoughts. Please be assured that your comments have been shared with our leadership team.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

June 28th, 2013 at 8:19 am

Mrs Carter

I came to this blog hoping to learn that the milk you provide does not come from cows fed GMO grains. So disappointed to learn that is not the case. :/ I do appreciate that the answers to such questions are easy to find. Some companies require much more digging. I do hope in an effort to provide the BEST quality of dairy products, Tillamook will require their farmers to use non-GMO feed. This would be an opportunity for you to trail blaze a standard that so many desire and need!

June 29th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

michele

While I would love for you to go completely GMO free, I am really sad that my husband and I can't take our boys for our annual visit to the factory this month. We usually stop twice, once on the way to our rental, then once on the day we head back home. They look forward to it every year but without any NON-gmo or organic options for them, we will have to skip it. We are one of those families who has seen the impact of genetically modified foods and how they affect a child's digestive system, to where it can no longer function properly. It has been a long road of healing for my 4 year old, but we will never again be going along with the "normal" American diet. My oldest also has strong emotional reactions to artificial colorings/flavorings and preservatives. "FOOD" IS CHANGING OUR CHILDREN. Please set a standard for the industry and be the voice that says you care. We think your company is great and hope we can come by and get safe ice cream in the future. Thank you.

July 5th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Jean

Darn it! Tillamook cheese on sale, on my list, checked here for GMOs and now no cheese for me. Just letting you know cause it's important to know why someone won't buy your product. I would love to support Tillamook farmers and your factory but I can't knowingly support allowing GMOs in our food chain. Bummer. When you can go GMO free, know that I'll become a customer again!

July 9th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Mrs. Carter,

Thank you for your comment. We understand that the GMO issue is important to some of our fans, and I'll be sure to share your request with the rest of our team.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

July 17th, 2013 at 11:13 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Michele,

I’m sorry to hear that we won’t be seeing you and your family at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, but we certainly respect your decision. Please know that Tillamook takes consumer feedback very seriously, and your comments will be heard by our leadership team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

July 17th, 2013 at 11:14 am

Bonnie

I too am visiting this thread because of my concern for the quality of feed that Tillamook's dairies are using for their animals. Thank you for your transparency. My family avoids GMOs in any form. I grew up on Tillamook cheese, and it is my kids' favorite as well. It is sad to not see your corporate size used to encourage your farmers to make the switch to non GMO feed. I understand this move can be costly and take time to implement, but feel that it is a responsible move for your farmers, your consumers, your company, and the environmental health of our beloved state of Oregon. Cross pollination was mentioned, among other issues, and I just want to point out that without TRYING, without making an attempt to leave from Monsanto's grasp, is just an excuse. Be the change. Obviously your consumers support you, as a growing number of Americans become more aware on this non GMO agenda. Going GmO free is good for you, us, and the land. (Also, I cannot bring myself to purchase your ice creams and yogurts due to concerns over the GMO ingredients in them. It is great you switched to natural colors, but not quite enough...yet.) I want to LOVE you guys again. Please help! :)

July 20th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jean,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know – that is very helpful to us! We’re sorry to lose you as a fan, but certainly respect your decision. We deeply care about our fans’ concerns, so please know that your comments will be heard by the rest of the team.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jean,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know – that is very helpful to us! We’re sorry to lose you as a fan, but certainly respect your decision. We deeply care about our fans’ concerns, so please know that your comments will be heard by the rest of the team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jean,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know - that is very helpful to us! We're sorry to lose you as a fan, but certainly respect your decision. We deeply care about our fans' concerns, so please know that your comments will be heard by the rest of the team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 2nd, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jean,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know – that is very helpful to us! We’re sorry to lose you as a fan, but certainly respect your decision. We deeply care about our fans’ concerns, so please know that your comments will be heard by the rest of the team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 2nd, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Bonnie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us and for you and your family being such long-time Tillamook fans. We understand that this is an important issue to some of our consumers, and I wanted to personally thank you for appreciating our transparency. We’re so sorry to be losing you as a fan. Please know feedback like this is very important to us, and I will be sure to pass your comments along to the rest of the Tillamook team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 2nd, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Mark

Go Amalya! Go Calls!! Go Beavers !!! Go ORGANIC !!!!!!!!

August 3rd, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Robyn

I just want to add myself to the list of people who will not be buying your cheese anymore because the cows eat GMO feed. I love your cheese and have fed it to my family for over a decade. However, it's not worth it to me to give my kids GMO food. Thanks for your transparency.

August 5th, 2013 at 11:46 am

Alina Darway

Hello, I just wanted to add a quick comment. Take into consideration that if you were to provide a non-GMO or Organic version of your cheese to the supermarkets along with what you have on the shelves now, your sales are surely to double. As of right now our only option for Organic cheese is very hard to find, some stores don't carry organic cheese at all. So if pricing is your issue, please know that most customers that do care about the GMO issue, would much rather spend their money knowing that it is NOT going to Monsanto. And our family is happy to pay extra to ensure that the cow feed is GMO free. Thank you for all of your replies, it shows that your company truly cares about the satisfaction of your customers.

August 6th, 2013 at 11:03 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comment! We really appreciate your support! Please know that I have shared your comment with the rest of the team.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 13th, 2013 at 10:20 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Robyn,

Thanks for reaching out to us and for taking the time to share your thoughts. We’re sorry to be losing you and your family as fans, but certainly respect your decision. Please know that your comments will be heard by our executive team.

Thanks again,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 13th, 2013 at 10:20 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Alina,

Thank you so much for reaching out and taking the time to share your feedback. We understand that the GMO issue is important to some of our fans, and we truly care about your concerns. Thank you for also appreciating our transparency, and for recognizing how much we value your satisfaction. Please know that I have passed along your comments to the rest of the Tillamook team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

August 13th, 2013 at 10:21 am

Maggie Hoehn

I have been wondering the NON-GMO question concerning Tillamook and see that this is not as yet an issue for your company? I do hope that you will make the necessary changes to join the NON-GMO movement in time. Your reputation for quality demands it.
The first cheese company has been certified NON-GMO this August 2013 in California.

As the awareness of harm comes to light (both to the consumers of the milk products and animals themselves) Tillamook dairy farmers will surely agree to stop supporting the GMO feed market.
Acres USA has an excellent article about the effect of GMO feed on livestock. Remember GMO was developed to tolerate Herbicides and produce pesticides in the plants themselves. As the herbicides become less effective, more and more must be used. More pesticides as well...... This is what the cattle are eating and passing on into their milk. From your answers to others I see that you do not test for BT toxin, pesticides or herbicides?

For now I buy only organic cheese mostly from New Zealand where GMO is not used or wanted. The cost is $10 a pound, a bargain in my opinion but variety is minimal.

I urge you to read and view the information that is available about this issue. "The World According to Monsanto" is a good place to start. There are many others. AcresUSA is a publication that has many excellent articles. This is the movement, it is being discussed among practitioners, nurses and dietitians and nutritionists.

Thank you for this opportunity to express my concerns and wishes. I look to Tillamook to be the next NON-GMO certifed cheese producer.
You would be the #1 cheese! Go TILLAMOOK!

September 3rd, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Beth

My family and I made the decision to go GMO free. We are also disappointed to learn that the fine Tillamook cheese is not from non-GMO fed cows. We will sadly no longer be purchasing Tillamook but will gladly come back if you can produce a truly organic cheese.

September 17th, 2013 at 9:11 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Maggie,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We understand the GMO issue is important to some consumers, and we appreciate you reaching out to us directly. Be assured that animal care and milk quality are the highest priorities for all of the dairy farmers that supply milk to Tillamook. Each year farmers in our cooperative are awarded on a local and national level for the quality and consistency of the milk they provide. Please know that I will be sharing your comments with the rest of the team here at Tillamook. Thanks again for voicing your thoughts with us.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

September 19th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Beth,

Thank you for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to lose you and your family as fans, but we respect your decision, and appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us. I’ll be sure to pass along your comment to our executive team.

Thanks again,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

September 19th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Sue

I've read the comments from others, ALL of them and see something that is being missed. The words that are expressed by the Tillamook team 'sound' concerned without anything to back it up. GMO in our food is harming EVERYONE, and Tillamook is merely 'sorry' to lose us as a 'fan'. Do you allow smokers in your building? Probably not. And why? Because it is harmful to YOU. If you were forced to breathe smoke filled air you'd be motivated to end it. I see no motivation to end the harm to others with GMO tainted food. It's all about profit margins. I've known people who will tell you what you want to hear with a smile on their face, when their real opinion is held back with a sense of smugness that can be felt by others, and only spoken behind their backs. As long as they can keep fooling the majority they're happy to continue on their harmful course. The Tillamook team answers just the same way. It really isn't concerning the company that they are harming others, as long as they keep winning awards. In the end, it will still be about profit margins and not people. If your pocketbooks get hit hard enough then maybe you'll suddenly 'care' about people.

I have personally had so many health problems to deal with that it is frustrating to try and get the toxins out of my diet and find that the majority of food is ruined in one way or another. I had been so happy to find out that Tillamook products were free of rbst only to be confronted with the GMO problem that still remains. Consumers need help, not a 'there, there, we're sorry to lose you as a fan.' People are appealing to you for help, and you aren't getting it. Why wouldn't they turn to you for that help, when you portray yourselves as people who care? Please put some money where your mouth is and make the change to non-GMO. PEOPLE NEED YOUR HELP.

September 24th, 2013 at 6:20 am

Lenora

Just want to be added to the list of people concerned about GMOs. How awful to have to give up Tillamook cheese - the best.

The TCCA choose to not to use antibiotics in consideration of their customers. Now I hope members of the TCCA will read the article above (provided by Heidi) and consider the fact that there are so many negative effects of GMOs. “Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation,” including increase in cytokines, which are “associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation”—all on the rise in the US.

On your website, I read that "Quality, cooperation, integrity, stewardship and responsiveness are the values that built the Tillamook brand". I hope the TCCA will be responsive to concerns expressed on this site and stops using GMO corn as silage.

Thanks for this forum and for considering the concerns of your customers.

September 27th, 2013 at 11:23 am

Barbara

Thanks so much for your transparency on the GMO issue. I realize it is touchy. My family has been buying Tillamook Cheese products for as long as I can remember. I am reluctant to stop buying your products altogether because of your stance on the rBST and, to be completely honest, we all really love what you produce. But I must join the chorus of those that wish GMO's could be eliminated from the co-op. I realize this is tough to do in a co-op, but I would love it if you were to encourage some of your farmers to begin producing grass-fed products and promote them as such. As we learn more about the nutritional benefits and lower pathogen risks of consuming animal products from grass-fed animals, and with all that lush Tillamook County grass out there in the summers (and hay outside of that), I would pay a premium for those products, especially butter. Even if it was only produced during the season when grass is growing fast, it would be worth it to me to buy it if it was available. I think Organic Valley does this from May to September, but I would much rather purchase from Tillamook. :) Thanks so much for all that you do and the focus on quality products your customers can trust.

September 30th, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Sue,

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts here on our blog. I can tell how thoughtful you have been in writing your comment about GMOs. I am so sorry that our answers to other commenters have not been helpful to you, as that truly is my goal. As you can imagine, there are so many contributing factors that make this issue very complex (from FDA regulations, varying bodies of research, industry regulations, cultural sentiment, agricultural infrastructure, capital investments, environmental factors, etc.). Here at Tillamook, we are doing our best to monitor, understand and react to continually new information and changing definitions, and are always working to ensure our ability to sustain our almost 100 farmer-owner families. Please know that while we may not be able to resolve your concerns today, the action we can take right now is to let people know we’re listening and share that feedback with our farmers and co-op leaders. If there is any more information I can provide to you outside of what you’ve found in these blog comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me here.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

October 1st, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Lenora,

Thank you for reaching out to us. I appreciate you taking the time to join our conversation and share your thoughts. Please know that I have passed along your comments to our leadership team here at Tillamook, and your feedback is heard. Thanks again for your comment.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

October 1st, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and concerns about GMOs. We also appreciate you recognizing the complexities of this issue, and the challenges our co-op members face. I have shared your comment with our leadership team, who always welcome and appreciate our fans’ feedback. Thanks again for reaching out to Tillamook.

Best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

October 1st, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Daniel

Regardless of the other negative replies I will still enjoy your product! Keep up the good work your cheese rocks!

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Sue

I must apologize for the
intense criticism I made of the Tillamook Company.
I understand the complex issues your company
is up against, and I know it isn't an easy fix. People
are frustrated, outraged even, over the
harmful things done to our food supply. It's clear that
the Tillamook Company isn't deliberately part of
the problem. You're stuck trying to work your way
out of this mess, as we all are. I found this site
in my search of information about Tillamook
cheese and it hit me as the last straw that day
when I discovered that things were different than
I had hoped. I felt angry at the whole gmo
problem and unfortunately was presented with
a forum where I could express that at a time when
I was least able to be calm about it. Thank you
for your kind reply. I have always liked the Tillamook
products, and given that I can't afford to go organic
completely, Tillamook products are one of my
better choices. Keep trying to work out the problem
with gmo's, please. We do need your help.
Sincerely, Sue

October 7th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Cindy

Hi,

I just wanted to join in with everyone else, saying that I also would love for Tillamook to make GMO free cheese. I am pregnant and I love cheese!, but am trying really hard to avoid GMOs, especially during my pregnancy.

October 13th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your comment! I'm happy to hear you're a Tilla-fan! Thanks again for taking the time to share your support with us.

Best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

October 15th, 2013 at 9:15 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Sue,

Thank you so much for your comment. We are here to listen to our fans, and I’m glad that the blog can provide an open forum for us to connect directly with you. Please let me know if you have any more questions or comments, and thanks again for following up with us.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

October 16th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for reaching out to us. I will be sure to share your request input with our leadership team. Thanks again for joining the conversation and taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

October 16th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Bradley

I, like all others before me have stated, love your cheese. It's delicious but I don't make all my food purchasing decision based upon taste. Otherwise, I'd still be eating kraft dinner, Doritos, and a lot of other unhealthy foods.

This thread has grown to 134 posts over a 2 year period. I read most of the posts in this thread from both your customers and your company. And I frankly have to agree with Sue's post. What I am hearing over and over from your company is that you are sorry to be losing a customer and that you will share our feelings with the leadership team.

It sounds like your company isn't going to make non-GMO cheese a priority until it drastically effects your bottom-line. As long as most of your customers are happy, then you are happy. That is a practical stance to take in a regular business since you can't please everybody. But given the scientific evidence that is becoming more and more available on the dangers of GMO products it would seem that you would have an incentive to eliminate any traces of GMO products in your own products. That you would take a proactive stance on this issue. That your company would choose to make a decision to lead us into a better tomorrow instead of waiting around for things to happen.

What I would like to hear you clearly state in plain English is not that you are sorry to be losing a customer and that you will report this to you leadership team. But that you are going to proactively take a stance against GMO products by having a plan for the future. I understand you can't guarantee non-gmo contaminated milk in your products over night. But what is it exactly that you are waiting on to make it your mission to eliminate anything in your products that harms your customers and shakes their faith in your product.

Have you made it a company mission to eliminate GMO feed from your products? If it takes 1 year, if it takes 2 years, if it takes 5 years to accomplish this mission - are you working towards it?
This thread spans 2+ years of comments. What effect are these comments having on your leadership teams. The question is, what are you doing about it? How about offering your customers some feedback from them now. We know you are listening. We have done enough talking. I am also positive that not everybody who has decided to stop buying your cheese found your website and told you so first. This thread only represents a small portion of the people who might be turning away from your products.

It is also somewhat odd when you make the statement that you realize "some of your customers are sensitive" to the GMO issue. That's because only "some" people are aware of the dangers of the GMO issue. Don't you have a responsibility to "all" your customers to provide the healthiest cheese you can with a clean conscience?

Why don't you tell us "your" stance on GMO feed and whether or not "YOU" as a company want to eliminate it from your products.

And please explain why the dairy-farmers in the coop must use grains at all to feed their cows. I thought cows could be well nourished on grass alone? So while I understand the complexity of eliminating the milk of GMO fed cows from your milk, I don't understand why the farmers do not simply stop using grains for feed all together.

Okay, I've done most of my griping now. But this is a serious issue that needs to be taken seriously. Your products are great from a taste perspective but they can be better. Please do everything you can to make them better. And take a pro-active stance, not a reactive stance towards the future for your company and your customers.

Thanks for your transparency on this issue and for listening to all your disgruntled customers. I hope we push you to be the best company you can be.

October 29th, 2013 at 5:04 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Bradley,

Thank you for reaching out to us; we appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts. Please know that we are doing our best to monitor, understand and react to continually new information and changing definitions around the GMO issue. Also, please understand that, as a 104-year-old farmer-owned cooperative, any decision takes time, especially when it affects the livelihoods of our almost 100 farmer-owners. All of our decisions, first and foremost, need to protect and ensure the sustainability of our farmer-owners, without whom we wouldn’t be able to make Tillamook products.

To address your question about our cow’s feed, proper nutrition is essential for promoting and maintaining animal health and well-being. Dairy cattle must have access to a wholesome, balanced diet that is formulated to meet the animal’s nutritional needs to ensure a healthy life. While many farmers do send their cows out to pasture when weather permits, how a pasture is used largely depends on the size of the herd and the type and amount of land available. Dairy farmers rely on experts in nutrition for advice on feeding their cows the healthiest diet. When pasture feeding is not practical (and in some cases, even when it is), dairy nutritionists recommend scientifically formulated and balanced diets that consist of hay, grains, protein sources and other vitamins and minerals, all of which are designed to ensure the cows’ health and to produce the highest quality milk.
I assure you, every comment from every consumer is heard, and we thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

November 5th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Coco

I too have read the majority of comments and however sweet and wholesome your replies when you respond are I still witness the side step shuffle along with polite lip service.You are corporate,so the best I can expect is to get facts from you.(untainted) However I`m betting the founders of Tillamook had a more humane outlook as did the world then,Now I believe mankind needs to find that sense of value in our actions and not our bank accounts,Food is at the top of the list for healthy humans.Please help us unite with the greater consciousness Stop TheCorporate Takeover of the Human Body

November 5th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Coco,

Thank you for your comment. Please know that our goal is to answer questions about the GMO issue as accurately and honestly as possible. I will be passing along your input to our leadership team; thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

November 8th, 2013 at 10:02 am

Jessica

We absolutely love your products, however we too are making every effort to avoid GMOs. For whatever reason, I did not realize this was an issue with Tillamook (other than the yogurt). GMO feeds do end up affecting the milk and cheese produced from the cows, and it is with much sadness I have to start looking for another brand. Perhaps you could introduce an organic line?

Thank you for your honesty.

November 10th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for your comment. We’re sad to lose you and your family as fans, but certainly respect your decision. Tillamook always has and always will be an organization that listens closely to the suggestions and concerns of our customers, and please know your input will be shared with our leadership team.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

November 20th, 2013 at 9:36 am

Deb

I, too, love your cheeses, ice cream & yogurt. They are all very high quality products, with excellent taste. My family has eaten them for years, and as Oregonians, we sure prefer to buy Tillamook. We have also made the choice to eat organic foods in order to avoid exposure to harmful pesticides & herbicides. I recognize the economic challenges of dairy farming, and they must be balanced against the importance of meeting the demand for even safer products. As we begin to recognize the risks of chemical exposure, and consumers demand non GMO foods, the food industry will need to respond in order to continue to be competitive. You serve a demanding yet appreciative population. Please change to meet changing needs. My family eats organic foods, despite the increased expense. We have found an organic cheddar that is nowhere near as good as Tillamook, but one that we feel safer with.

December 22nd, 2013 at 6:53 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Deb,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. As an organization, we truly value our customers’ input, and appreciate you taking the time to voice your concerns. We’re sorry to lose you and your family as customers, and please know that your comments are heard. Thanks again for reaching out.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

January 10th, 2014 at 11:18 am

KT Franco

GMO feed?...! Why? You're loosing sooo many customers but using GMOs. I'm not sure why companies don't understand why it's important to switch now. NO ONE WANTS GMOS! Tillamook, please for the love of healthy and HAPPY cows everywhere& oh yeah happy & MORE customers... Why not switch? I'll be excited to receive my very awful response from one of your team memebers... Save your breath& change your ways! Listen to your customer& see huge results. Moms everywhere want good, non gmo options, TILLAMOOK PLEASE CONSIDER BEING ONE OF THEM!!

January 15th, 2014 at 8:55 pm

LauraS

I have always loved your products, but after finding out this company supports the feeding of GMOs to their animals I can no longer purchase your products. I wish more companies would take a stand for their consumers health and well being.

January 18th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Carol Phillips

Hi Callie,

I have been a loyal Tiillamook customer ever since moving to Oregon 4 years ago. I believe that the quality and taste is far superior to many others. However, I also have concerns about the long term health effects of GMOs in our diet, and I am taking steps to reduce my exposure to them. I cannot afford to buy everything organic, so I am trying to eliminate the top worst GMO foods. I have been told by representatives in the food industry that non-gmo grain is very expensive, and I understand your comments above about the difficulty in souring 100% of non-gmo grains to feed your cattle.

However, I am also concerned about earlier comments to another customer who asked about sourcing for the sugar that is used in your products, such as yogurt. The reply basically stated that it is extremely difficult to determine the source of additive ingredients, such as sugar. There are approximately 30+ grams of sugar in your low fat yogurt products. That is a considerable amount of sugar and I would like to know if the sugar comes from sugar beets, rather than pure cane sugar, in which case in all likelihood it is a gmo sugar. Can you please tell me the source of the sugar in your yogurt products, as this will determine whether or not, at this time, I will continue to purchase Tillamook yogurt. Thanks for your reply and willingness to be transparent in response to your customers' inquiries.

January 26th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi KT,

Thank you for joining the conversation here on our blog. I’m sorry to hear that you’re disappointed. Please know that I’ve shared your comments with the rest of the team. Thanks again for taking the time to write to us.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

January 29th, 2014 at 10:07 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Laura,
Thank you for your comment. We’re so sorry to be losing you as a long-time fan. Please be assured that your comments are heard by our leadership team. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

January 29th, 2014 at 10:08 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Carol,

Thank you for reaching out directly with your question. We source our ingredients from a variety of places. A significant portion of sugar sold in the U.S. is beet sugar or a combination of beet and cane sugar, so it is possible that either are the source of sugar in various Tillamook products. As we’ve said in previous posts, at this time, and in the absence of any clear standards or definitions around genetically modified substances, it is hard to categorize which ingredients are – with certainty – GMO-free. We do use some ingredients like natural flavoring (e.g. sugar or corn syrup for sweetening), natural coloring (e.g. beet juice), and stabilizers (e.g. corn starch and soy lecithin) that have the possibility of being derived from GMO sources because of the pervasiveness of GMOs in agricultural crops in the United States.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Thanks,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

February 6th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Mary

In researching GMOs after reading this page, I have decided they are bad and I wouldn't want to eat them in significant amounts. However I love Tillamook products. I have eaten them my whole life and I will continue to purchase them. I understand how hard it would be to get all their farmers to get completely GMO free, I think they will get their someday though. I believe it is a company that cares about the quality of their products, and the complexities of the issue for a company like Tillamook Cheese Factory are difficult to resolve. I think that just because there may be some GMO in the grain the cows are fed doesn't automatically mean they are unhappy and unhealthy. They are treated well and are definitely let out to graze a lot. (I have been to Tillamook countless times in my life. There are cows everywhere you look in fields. You will never not see cows out enjoying themselves in fields).

Also, they don't purposfully put GMO into the final products. It is only in places where avoiding it is extremely difficult. So it is not like they are trying to sacrifice the customer for a profit. I think they will one day be able to switch to non-GMO but I think it will be tricky which is why it may take awhile.

People are complaining that the people that are responding to these comments are not giving firm answers on if they are going to change. Well what do you expect? One person cannot just guarantee that the whole company is going to make a huge change. In responding to these I'm sure their job is to be polite, give facts to people asking, and report back complaints people are having, and I sure they are doing just that. I do not like people claiming such negative things about the cheese factory, or that companies like them have just given in to companies like Monsanto. It just may not be feasible for their farmers right now, but like I said, I think they will get their someday.

Just my opinion, as a loyal Tillimook Cheese Factory Gal. I just remembered my mothers grandparents used to give milk for the food products and items from their gift shop to the cheese factory gift shop, which I always thought was pretty cool. I love the cheese factory and will continue to stop in for some cheese and ice cream on my way to the coast and exclusively buy your cheese, ice cream, and yogurt! My family has always been appreciative of the high Tillamook quality.

March 17th, 2014 at 7:41 am

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Mary,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Thanks for being a life-long Tillamook fan; it was so nice to hear from you. Hope we see you back at the Tillamook Cheese Factory again soon!

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

March 19th, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Kyle

I am also disappointed consumer. I love all Tillamook products. I saddens me so much to hear that you employ farmers with GMO feeding practices. I have assumed for so long that Tillamook was too good to tolerate a dairy that did not produce the best quality products. I will not be able to purchase Tillamook from this time on, due to the GMO's present. I love my family and my children and the science behind GMO's has proven that GMO's are in fact, poison. Therefore I would be poisoning my children. We already pay for several items USDA Organic, and we don't mind paying a little extra for safe food. My family and I believe that a company as loved as Tillamook could really make history here and give the people what they want. Thank you so much for being honest, for this I will keep checking regularly for a NO GMO stand within your company.

March 27th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Kyle,

Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your feedback. We’re sorry to be losing you and your family as consumers, but certainly respect your decision. Thanks again for taking the time to write to us.

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 4th, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Pete Huffer

Hello Tillamook!
Like everyone else in the know, Tillamook is a home town hero! Nothing else compares, and I miss it while I'm away from home.
There's no love lost, as business trends dictate business practices, and I fully understand that you DON'T use GMO's in your products, but your cows are fed GMO's, so I've chosen to make sure my diet is as wholesome as possible.
So, FOR NOW, I won't be buying your products or any other products that contain GMOs and other forms of harmful content!

I still love you Tillamook! Just have to say goodbye for now!

April 5th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Callie

Tillamook Team

Hi Pete,

Thank you for reaching out to us and taking the time to share your thoughts. We’re so sorry to lose you as a fan, but certainly respect your decision. Thanks again for voicing your concerns, and please be assured that I’ve shared your comment with the rest of the team.

Sincerely,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

April 10th, 2014 at 3:14 pm

angella

Hi, any updates for providing non-hmo products? Thanks!

April 18th, 2014 at 9:00 am

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Angella,

Thanks for your question. At this time, we are continuing to do our best to monitor, understand and react to the complexity of the GMO issue. In today’s market, it is very difficult to source ingredients, especially for our ice cream and yogurt, that are 100% GMO-free, given how pervasive GMOs are in the grain and corn supply chain. Please know that while we may not be able to resolve your concerns today, we’re always listening and sharing feedback from our consumers with our farmer-owners and co-op leaders.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

April 22nd, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Terry

Dear Tillamook,

I also came to your website to find out if your cows are fed gmo-free food. I understand the difficulty in finding gmo free feed, but i'm sure as a cooperative, you could find a company who would provide you with gmo-free feed. i know it's out there, and if you commission a company to provide it for you, they will commission farmers to grow it and voila-- you've expanded the gmo-free market. Not only would you be servicing your customers with gmo-free feed, but you've just helped gmo-free farmers and mills. You can do it-- it's just a matter of wanting to. Do you want to? Also, I know of many dairy farmers who only grass-feed their cows. Why not your farmers? You certainly have enough rain and grass! Go for it tillamook--- be a pioneer and a hero! I'm rooting for you and I'll buy your cheese again as soon as you go GMO-free!

April 23rd, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Keith

I can't believe you guys still don't get it. How many lost consumers will it take for you to get with the program and offer non GMO products? I love your cheese, alas, I love my health more.

Cheers

April 24th, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Chris

I've been buying Tillamook products for decades assuming incorrectly that you provide the very best products for you customer's consumption. You've had a few years of data and scientific research to conclude GMO products are a growing problem in the USA. Consumers are getting educated. If it was determined that people were dying from your products you'd pull them off the shelves quicker than you can say "profit margin."

My purpose in writing you is not to rehash what so many others have written but to encourage you to take a leadership position as a FORMER high quality food manufacturer and start the process NOW to eliminate unhealthy substances in your products.

Please...no more corporate answers about losing fans and passing on info to your team. I've read about 50 of them today. Take a chance and break free from your competition. You are a large company, not a little Mom and Pop farm. If you make the RIGHT choice you will be amazed at the long term results. For now, you are just another Monsanto sycophant. I look forward to seeing you LEAD.

Aloha

April 27th, 2014 at 11:19 am

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Terry,

Thank you for sharing your comments with us. It's important to us that we know how our consumers feel, and I will be sure to pass your comments along to the team.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

April 30th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Keith,

Thank you for voicing your opinion! We are so sorry to hear that we are losing you as a fan, but we certainly respect your decision. Your feedback will be shared with the rest of the Tillamook team.

Sincerely,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

April 30th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Leigh

I came to the Tillamook website to confirm what I had already heard... that they are one of the best companies as far as animal care. I'm surprised at how many people are turning against such a good company!

While I don't like the idea of GMO feed, and hope that responsible, caring companies like Tillamook fight to turn the tide and refuse GMO feed, you have to look at it realistically. Why negate the company as a whole, when they are constantly rising above to be ethical and responsible?

Tillamook offers the most varieties of rennet-free cheese (a *big* deal for cheese eating vegetarians).
They take pride in having pasture-fed and open-barn cows.
Tillamook is very transparent about answering and addressing customer questions and complaints. Ask some national chains where they source their products, and you get vague PR statements that give no information.

I see where the outrage is coming from... we want to make healthy choices, and get frustrated when we have few options. I do hope that Tillamook helps its consumers in the fight against GMO, but I will continue to buy for their superior product, their treatment of the animals, and their ethical business practices.

May 1st, 2014 at 8:34 am

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Chris,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments here on our blog. I can tell the GMO conversation is an important one to you, and I appreciate your position on this topic. While it is true that we are a larger brand than some individual farm brands, please note that we are a farmer-owned cooperative made up of almost 100 farm families. This means that every farm that makes up our cooperative, as well as any other dairy farmers we conduct business with, would need to individually obtain non-GMO feed, which is currently very challenging to source, prohibitively costly and time-consuming for each farmer to undergo. At this time, our farmer-owners have not decided to standardize this process across our co-op. If you would like to discuss this topic further, please feel free to contact our Consumer Relations team at any time: (http://www.tillamook.com/contact.html)

All the best,
Lauren of the Tillamook team

May 5th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Leigh,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. That can be hard to do when it seems to go against the grain, so we really appreciate your perspective and support of our farmer owned co-op. It really is important for us to know how our consumers feel about topics like GMO, and I will certainly share your feedback with the rest of our team.

Warm regards,

Lauren of the Tillamook team.

May 7th, 2014 at 8:22 am

Victoria Harrison

Today is a very sad day for me. I grew up only 30 minutes from the Tillamook factory and eating Tillamook products. Even now living in Colorado, I pay the extra money to find and use Tillamook products. Unfortunately, four of our five family members are suffering from various food related illnesses and we've made a serious change to only eat Organic and non-GMO fresh foods. Finding out that your products can't meet the highest standards for human consumption because the source of your milk is potentially contaminated with pesticides, plant antibiotics, and Franken-Grains means we will have to find a new source for our cheese and ice cream. It's a real bummer.

I have faith that your company can make the change, if you do, we'll be back. Unfortunately, I'll have to forward this information to our WAPF group and my other food support groups.

Thanks for your honesty,

Victoria Harrison

May 24th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

MacKenzie

It's a real shame that your dairy products come from GMO-fed cows. I love your cheese but now must also stop purchasing your products. I refuse to support any company that helps keep Monsanto in business.

Aside from the growing body of research linking consumption of GMOs to deleterious health effects on humans, there is also a very serious moral issue at stake. More than 250,000 farmers in India have killed themselves because their livelihood was ruined by Monsanto's Bt crop. Roundup-resistant crops lose their effectiveness over time, which means that farmers with limited means must spend more money for more powerful pesticides after paying for the Bt crops. Contrary to claims from the biotech industry, Bt crops do not give a higher yield than non-Bt crops. They also do not help world hunger; in fact, they are adding to it by reducing crop yields and forcing farmers into a frightening about of debt. By choosing to purchase grain from Monsanto instead of a local, non-GM supplier, you are supporting a small group of individuals who are solely motivated by greed, no matter what the cost to human health and the environment.

Do the right thing and make your company completely GM-free.

May 24th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi MacKenzie,

Thank you for sharing your opinion with us! We’re so sorry to hear that we are losing you as a fan, but we certainly respect your decision. Please know that your feedback will be shared with the rest of the Tillamook team.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

June 5th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Butter nostalgia? - Page 5

[…] 2014 11:42 pm @hawkeye10, This seals the deal for me....Tillamook uses only 60% Holsteins. http://www.tillamook.com/community/blog/its-all-about-milk-quality/ 0 Replies   […]

June 7th, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Victoria,

Thank you for sharing your comment with us. As a company, we truly value feedback from our customers, so thank you for taking the time to express your opinion here on the blog. We’re sorry to lose you and your family as customers, but please know that your comments are heard. Thanks again for reaching out.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

June 9th, 2014 at 9:20 am

Kendall Brenneise

Thank you SO MUCH for your honesty on the use of some GMO feed for your farmers' cows. As much as my family and I enjoying Tillamook products, for as long Tillamook has any GMO products in the supply chain we will no longer purchase any Tillamook products. I will also share this with every loved one in my life.

On the other hand, the day Tillamook fixes this problem and goes completely GMO free, please share with the world and we will all come back.

Kendall

June 10th, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Nicole Parkhill

The Sierra Club just came out with their list of "5 worst foods for the planet" and GMO corn was on the list. We are so sad to learn that this means Tillamook will no longer be a staple in our house. I understand the difficulties and increased cost of requiring your co-op farmers to go GMO free. Those aren't acceptable excuses. If the farmers can't afford it, then Tillamook needs to pay a fair price for the milk they are getting. And that cost is then passed on to the consumer. If it's too difficult to get non GMO corn, then maybe they should stop feeding their cows corn (since cows shouldn't be eating corn anyway). Please let us know if you ever change this policy, we would love to start purchasing your products again.

June 14th, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Sheri Scumwanker

Hello. Are your cows raised on factory farms otherwise known as CAFOs? Exactly how large is the facility and how many cows do you guys have total? Is it a large operation with over 50,000 cows? Also, do your cows ever eat grass, as nature intended?

Thanks.

June 16th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Nicole,

Thank you for your comment. Your feedback is truly important to us, so thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’ll be sure to pass your feedback along to the rest of the Tillamook team.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

June 17th, 2014 at 9:48 am

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Kendall,

Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your feedback. We’re so sorry to be losing you and your family as customers, but certainly respect your decision. Thanks again for taking the time to write to us on our blog!

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

June 17th, 2014 at 9:49 am

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Sheri,

Thank you for your question! Tillamook County Creamery Association is a farmer-owned cooperative. The nearly 100 farmers that make up our co-op, as well as some additional contract suppliers that we work with to meet our milk needs, vary in size quite a bit. Some are quite small, raising only 60-70 cows and some are larger, raising several thousand cows. On average, most of the farms that supply milk for Tillamook products raise around 200 cows. Regardless of the size of their herds, Tillamook’s dairy farmers and contract suppliers take animal care very seriously. Healthy cows produce high quality milk, which in turn helps us produce the high quality Tillamook dairy products that our fans have come to love. Our farmers follow industry best management practices and apply other industry accepted practices that are best suited to their herd and environment to ensure the health of the cow. While the feed mixture varies dairy to dairy, it is likely to include a mix of grass, alfalfa, some corn silage, and grains such as barley or soy. All of this is balanced by a nutritionist who also adds a vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure the healthiest cows possible, and thus the highest quality milk. Each dairy farmer raises their cows in different ways, so practices differ among farms. Access to pasture is not required, however, many of our farmer-owners in Tillamook County send their cows out to pasture when the weather permits. As one of the leading dairy organizations in Oregon, we work with the local dairy industry to help establish best management practices. If you would like to learn more, please visit www.northwestsustainabledairies.com. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please reach out to our Consumer Relations team at any time!

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

June 20th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Sheri Scumwanker

You said that they use "other" acceptable measures but did not answer my question about factory farms. I would really like to know if you guys use cows that are confined in unsanitary disease-ridden factories. These factories are contributing to global warming and also contributing to super bugs due to all the antibiotics used (from overcrowding that contributes to disease).

Thanks.

June 26th, 2014 at 5:57 pm

James

We live in the Portland Metro area, and whenever we go out to the coast - our traditional stop has always been to get an ice cream from the Tillamook creamery. Our cheese has always been Tillamook - it's just the best there is locally. But now, based on so much horrifying information on GMO and the problems that it causes, we've made the decision to go organic. I really hope you decide that Organic is not just a trend, and that it's the right choice to make for everyone. Until then, you've lost another family of fans.

June 27th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi Sheri,

Thank you for your follow up comment! As I mentioned in my response to your last comment, animal care is extremely important to us at Tillamook, as it directly impacts the quality of our products. All of the farms we work with, regardless of size, take extreme care to ensure their cows are provided with a safe, healthy and clean environment in which to live.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

July 1st, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hi James,

Thank you for reaching out to us and taking the time to share your feedback. We’re so sorry to lose you as a fan, but certainly respect your decision. Thanks again for voicing your concerns, and please know that I’ve shared your comment with the rest of the team.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team

July 2nd, 2014 at 9:19 am

GMO nightmare

If the farmers are unable to source gmo free grain, Tillamook needs to do it for them, or assist them. Stating that cows are healthy and safe, when they're consuming dangerous synthetics which are common to the production process involving gmo food, would constitute an untrue statement.

So Tilamook stringently tests for antibiotics? That's good. Why don't you test for the presence of Glyphosate? Did you read the latest study about rising autism in children, and the direct link to cumulative exposure to passed off Glyphosate? If it's genetically modified food, that's one thing. If it's sprayed down bt corn which causes genetic damages in the host, and in the symbiotic creatures with interact with the host, that's something else entirely.

Sad to hear Tilamook is taking the pro pr line in defense of Monsanto products. Out of those huge grocery stores, I don't think one single honestly safe organic cheese is available. We're going to look for alternatives to Tilamook, especially hearing the public relations nonsense on this post.

MOMS AGAINST ROUNDUP! Google it.

July 7th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Lauren

Tillamook Team

Hello,

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. Your opinion is truly important to us, and it will be shared with the rest of our team here at Tillamook. While are sad to lose you as a customer, we certainly respect your decision. Thanks again for your comment.

All the best,

Lauren of the Tillamook team.

July 10th, 2014 at 9:01 am
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