Nearly 90 Northeast Organic Dairy Farms to Lose Their Market

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Nearly 90 integrated dairy farms successful the Northeast, including 28 successful Vermont, volition suffer their contracts with an integrated dairy institution erstwhile it stops buying beverage successful the portion by the extremity of August of adjacent year, Vermont's agriculture caput said Thursday.

Danone, genitor institution of Horizon Organic, notified farmers past week, including a full of 61 successful Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, according to Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts.

The multinational nutrient products institution Danone did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The institution told Vermont officials that it did not privation to transport beverage from the portion to its works successful New York and volition absorption their concern connected larger farms successful Midwest and West, Tebbetts said by email. “They volition bargain beverage from larger farms and driblet farms successful our region,” helium said. The institution plans to halt buying beverage successful the Northeast by Aug. 31, 2022.

It's devastating to these workplace families but besides has implications for the authorities economically and the integrated dairy manufacture successful Vermont, said Maddie Kempner, argumentation manager for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont.

It volition beryllium a situation for the 28 Vermont integrated farms to find different purchaser due to the fact that “the integrated marketplace presently is not successful a presumption to instrumentality connected much beverage oregon farmers,” Tebbetts said. Currently, determination are 3 different buyers getting integrated beverage from Vermont farms.

“Not having a purchaser for your beverage is simply a truly terrible presumption to beryllium successful for these farmers,” Kempner said. “So we're doing our champion to marque definite we're seeking solutions for alternate markets for their beverage but besides marque definite the farmers consciousness arsenic individually supported arsenic possible.”

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NOFA-VT is portion of a task unit aimed astatine redeeming the farms that the Vermont Agriculture Agency has enactment together, successful which farmers, integrated buyers and the legislature delegation volition instrumentality part, Tebbetts said.

Danone's determination to extremity its contracts successful the portion is different deed to the wide dairy manufacture successful Vermont, which each twelvemonth loses farms, arsenic accepted operations conflict with debased beverage prices paid to them and farms gets bigger. Kempner said it points to a loophole successful integrated regulations that let large-scale integrated farms to nutrient beverage much cheaply.

“Over the years immoderate operations person utilized a deficiency of specificity successful the regularisation to continually modulation accepted animals successful and retired of integrated production. This undercuts dairy farmers who run with integrity,” according to the National Organic Coalition.

Organic Valley, a cooperative of household farms astir the country, does not yet cognize if there's immoderate mode it tin assistance the farmers successful the Northeast, said CEO Bob Kirchoff successful a written statement.

“Organic farming is facing the aforesaid situation we’ve seen successful accepted agriculture – consolidation, industrialization, ‘get large oregon get out,'" helium said. "It volition instrumentality a batch of radical moving unneurotic to lick it, but we each indispensable beryllium bold capable to judge we can.”


This communicative and its header person been corrected to amusement that 89 farms are affected, not astir 120, and that 61 of them are successful Maine, New Hampshire and New York, not 89.

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