Horizon Organic, owned by Danone, just cancelled the contracts of 89 organic dairies in Maine, Vermont and New York. Why are they doing this? Because bigger farms out west, many flaunting the National Organic Standards, produce cheaper milk. Driving trucks around all our dirt roads is not as cost effective as pulling up to a few mega-dairies.
So what will happen to these farms? They are being given a 12 month notice so the impact may not be immediate, but it could be dire. The few other organic processors like Organic Valley and Stoneyfield are not bringing on more producers. Maple Hill is letting producers go and Upstate Niagara is slowly reducing volume and pay price. Other options seem…. elusive.
Does this affect Kiss the Cow Farm -or you? Not directly, but yes, this does affect all of us who live in small, rural communities -communities that have been based on agriculture for over 200 years.
Randy Robar, co-owner of Kiss the Cow Farm