New Regional Milk Serves Local Market, Supplies Healthy Food And Keeps Farms In Business During Pandemic

Zeal Grass Milk is the newest milk brand Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World! Now available in select Chicagoland stores including Sunset Foods,
Sugar Beet Food Co-op-and Fresh Farms

Photo: Zeal Grass Milk

While much of the food supply has been disrupted, one partnership between a farm, a milk company and independent retailers is thriving. Zeal Grass Milk is Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW)–the only milk brand in the Midwest to achieve this distinction.


This certification and food label ensures animals are raised outdoors on pastures or range in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S. and Canada, using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent farm. Consumer Reports has rated Certified Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) as a “highly meaningful” label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability–and the only animal welfare certification in which they have confidence. Industry research firm, The Hartman Group, found that the AWA label has the highest impact on consumer purchasing of any food label.

Zeal Grass Milk and its partner farms in Missouri sought AWA certification as a way to distinguish high-welfare, pasture-based dairy practices. The dairy farms, part of the Free Range Dairies Group, raise cows outdoors on pasture, focusing on intensive rotational grazing. This type of farming means cows continually move to greener pastures, eating fresh grass and turning it into nutritious milk. Zeal Grass Milk comes in two popular flavors–whole and chocolate–with more on the way.

While Zeal Grass Milk has adjusted its launch as the pandemic impacted all aspects of the supply chain, its customers have remained incredibly supportive of the new brand. The sales have far exceeded expectations at Sunset Foods, Sugar Beet Food Co-op and the Fresh Farms chain of supermarkets. All of the retailers have implemented social distancing practices, including dedicated shopping times for seniors, installing plastic guards at registers, and equipping stores with hand sanitizer and wipes. In addition, to minimize contact and to protect vulnerable shoppers and workers, alternative options for purchasing are available such as online ordering with delivery and curb side pickup.

“Nowhere is the importance of a farmers better underscored than on an empty grocery shelf, and it’s heartening when the supply chain is as resilient as this one. Chicago shoppers have an amazing opportunity to not only nourish themselves, but to keep a local grocer in business, support a young local brand, and ensure the viability of a cutting edge, sustainable farm. The farms and businesses that are feeding us now need our support more than ever, and we are so proud to work with businesses like Zeal Grass Milk, Sunset Foods, Sugar Beet Food Co-op and Fresh Farms to ensure the long-term health of our sustainable regional food systems.”, says AGW Executive Director Andrew Gunther

For a list of retailers carrying Zeal Grass Milk in the Chicago area visit AGW’s online directory. For more information on Zeal Grass Milk visit or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.


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