Jan 19, 2022
Organic Valley adds dairies in the Northeast
Farmer-owned cooperative Organic Valley recently announced an initiative to bring on five Northeast farms while visiting and working with dozens more small, organic family farms in the Northeast.
The move comes in the wake of controversy when some organic dairies in the region reportedly lost contracts with other companies.
Dropped by Maple Hill at the end of 2021, these five organic dairy farms needed a market to continue organically caring for their animals and delivering fresh organic milk to the Northeast, according to a news release from Organic Valley. Organic Valley representatives visited each farm and offered membership to five farms that no longer had a place to send their milk.
This is the first step in what Organic Valley said will be a yearlong campaign to save small, organic family dairy farms of the Northeast.
“We are excited to bring these five family farms into our cooperative. This is just the beginning: we are looking forward to offering a home to more farm families in the Northeast,” Bob Kirchoff, Organic Valley CEO said in a news release. “We want to help family farms in the region throughout 2022 by providing membership options. And, in turn, we’re excited to be giving consumers a real choice to support farmers and their neighbors through the products we make as Organic Valley. We believe we can sustain small organic family farms in America for the next generation and reverse climate change through organic agriculture.”
Organic Valley representatives have been visiting more than 130 Northeast farms that other companies have decided to drop in the coming year, according to the news release. To join the cooperative, organic farms are required to meet the elevated animal care, quality standards, and pasture expectations of Organic Valley. While not every farm is a fit, Organic Valley maintains open lines of communication and provides farm strategy consultation to those adapting to the high-quality standards of the cooperative.
Organic Valley is joining other like-minded organizations to offer recommendations for building a bright future for small, organic family farms through a USDA convened Northeast Dairy Task Force, according to the news release. As discussions with family farms progress and visits continue, Organic Valley will release more information throughout 2022 on efforts to save the small, organic family dairy farms of the Northeast.
Founded in 1988, Organic Valley markets itself as the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the U.S. and among the largest in the world, representing about 1,700 farmers in 34 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.