The rankings were determined by a point system. Companies scored from 0 to 1200 points based on the following criteria:
- Ownership structure - More points for family- or farmer-owned businesses.
- Milk supply - Fewer points for supplementing with questionable outside sources.
- Disclosure - Fewer points for partial disclosure.
- Farm Certifier - More points for using a reputable certifying organization.
- Pasture - More points for higher acreage and more time spent pasturing.
- Cull rate - More points for low slaughter rate.
- Replacement animals - Fewer points for using milk from non-organic replacement animals.
- Antibiotics - Fewer points for use of antibiotics.
- Hormones - Fewer points for use of hormones.
- Farm oversight - More points for direct vs. outsourced herd supervision.
- Outside ingredients - Fewer points for supplementing with questionable outside products.
* The Cornucopia Institute is a progressive farm policy research group based in Wisconsin that promotes sustainable and organic agriculture.