In the fall of 2021, 89 organic family dairy farms across ME, NH, VT, and NY received the shocking news that their customer Horizon Organic, which is wholly owned by Danone, was terminating their purchase contracts, effective in the fall of 2022 (this was later extended to February 2023). Soon thereafter, an another 46 organic family farms were also given notice that their contracts were being terminated by Maple Hill Creamery. These notices have put all of these farms, many of whom have been in business for generations, at serious risk.
This is not the first or last time our region’s family farms have been going about their daily chores and business, only to have their financial security suddenly put into serious jeopardy through no fault of their own.
Simply by pledging to purchase a portion of our weekly dairy items from any of the participating organic brands, we can all help ensure the survival and success of these farm families.
Joining is simple! Just fill out the pledge below, and then in the coming weeks and months, we will share our pledge numbers with grocers, restaurateurs, cafeterias, and other outlets that purchase and sell dairy products across the region. Large numbers of pledges are the most powerful way to persuade them to become Retail Partners in our effort by increasing the amount of northeast organic family farm milk products they carry. Make your purchasing power count by pledging today!
Sometimes it takes a crisis like this to wake us up that something needs to be done. Stonyfield co-founder and former long-time CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg came up with an idea for a region-wide partnership between consumers, large and small dairy processors, retailers, restaurants, school lunch programs, college cafeterias, and of course, our region’s hard-working organic family farmers. The idea is to enlist tens of thousands of northeast consumers, and ultimately retail and institutional customers, in a Partnership that will provide stable, long-term demand for these 135 farms, as well as the overall region’s organic family farms so that none of these farmers are ever made vulnerable like this again.
The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership celebrates the fact that when it comes to supporting our region’s organic family farmers, it really does take a village. All of us have a stake in the long-term financial health of these farms and farm families, and they, in turn, are completely dependent on the entire community of consumers, families, students, processors, retailers, restaurateurs, school systems, and so many others from NYC and eastern NY across to northeastern Maine. Through the simple act of pledging to purchase one-quarter of our dairy items from the brands, processors, and farms who support these family farmers, we can all help to ensure that these farms will remain healthy, vibrant, environmentally and climate-positive parts of our beautiful northeast region for generations to come.
The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership is an educational project affiliated with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, a 501(c)3 Charitable Non-Profit Organization. Our efforts to educate and build a region-wide commitment to helping to keep the northeast’s organic family farmers financially supported and viable depends completely on the generosity of our donors. All donations are tax deductible. Please donate whatever you can by clicking the button below.