Danone Abruptly Ends Contracts with 89 Northeast Organic Dairies 

At the end of August 2021, Danone, owner of Horizon Organic Milk, abruptly ended contracts with 89 organic dairy farm families in the Northeast, including Maine, Vermont, New York, and right here in the Granite State.

 

Though Danone is the global leader in fresh dairy products, owns over 20 brands, and is a 10.3 billion-dollar company, they claim they cannot afford to continue to support family organic dairy farms that have helped build the Horizon Organic brand for decades. As a certified “B Corp” Danone is required to use its business as a force for good, but this action from Danone will undoubtedly hurt Northeast farm families and their communities.

 

Take action and help support Northeast Organic Dairy Farms by adding your name to this petition urging Danone/Horizon to extend farmers' contracts before they leave our region behind.

Small Organic Dairies Face An Unlevel Playing Field

Small scale organic dairies are already doing so much for the health of people and planet even as they serve as the economic and ecological backbone of many rural New England communities. But these farms are being driven out of business by unfair competition from faux 'organic' ultra-pasteurized milk being produced in crowded Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's) - often located in water strapped regions of the West and Southwest. 

 

These vast, industrialized operations are using loopholes in USDA regulations to claim that their milk deserves the organic label and price premium even when the cows are not receiving regular time on pasture and are eating a largely grain and soy based diet (which is often based upon imported materials that are fraudulently labeled organic in their country of origin). All too often, even the dairy cattle themselves have not been raised organically from birth. Such operations are objectionable on many counts including the fact that they draw down scarce water resources and generate huge quantities of methane generating manure. 

 

Learn more about the myriad of issues facing small organic dairy farms in this in-depth Washington Post article and Guide from The Cornucopia Institute.

Additional Ways You Can Help

 

  • Consult The Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Dairy Scorecard to determine which dairy brands are produced using the best (and worst) organic farming practices.

 

 

  • Continue to call on your legislators to protect small family farms and the organic label. We are grateful that a group of federal lawmakers, including NH Senator Hassan, Representative Kuster, and Representative Pappas, have urged Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the USDA to support organic dairy producers affected by Danone/Horizon’s decision to leave the Northeast by August 2022.