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THE REAL STORY BEHIND DANONE’S DECISION TO DUMP AUTHENTIC ORGANIC NORTHEAST FAMI…


THE REAL STORY BEHIND DANONE’S DECISION TO DUMP AUTHENTIC ORGANIC NORTHEAST FAMILY DAIRY FARMERS TO MAKE ROOM FOR FRAUDSTER CORPORATE FACTORY FARMS. Two weeks ago multinational corporatist ‘Groupe Danone’ dropped the bombshell that its subsidiary ‘Horizon Organic’ plans to drop 89 family organic dairy farms in the Northeast and replace their authentic organic milk with fake-organic-milk from law-breaking CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) factory farms. Organic family dairy farmers have been operating on a grossly unlevel playing field against the faker corporate behemoths. Mega corporate factory farms have long been operating illegally in violation of provisions of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). While they have never produced one drop of bona fide Organic Milk, CAFOs have single-handedly created a fake-organic-milk glut that – unless they are stopped – will drown out virtually all honest organic dairy farm families
It’s an enormous and sad story about relentless ag consolidation which has invaded organic, jaw-dropping lack of integrity on the parts of both enabler USDA and scheming corporate factory farms, and stark denial of justice for hard-working organic family dairy farmers who have been playing by the rules and now face an ominous future of being forced out-of-business and off their farms.
Our friends at Beyond Pesticides have written an excellent piece which summarizes the predicament and lays out the potential urgent solutions https://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2021/09/danone-horizon-organic-threatens-the-backbone-of-organic-dairy-family-farms-and-their-consumer-supporters/
Please spend 10 minutes reading the article and learn how you can help these struggling family farmers at their darkest hour. Thanks! Jim

“Groupe Danone, multinational corporate owner of Horizon Organic, has announced that it is terminating its contracts with 89 small-to-medium-sized organic dairy producers in the Northeast as of August 2022. At that point, all of Horizon’s contracted organic dairy farms in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and northern New York may well have no buyers for their milk and will likely face a very uncertain future. In July 2021, Beyond Pesticides covered a major contributor to this development — the failure of the NOP (National Organic Program) to protect the integrity of organic dairy, which failure has advantaged large producers over smaller operations (see more on this below). This development in a region with historically strong demand for organic dairy products is of concern on several fronts, not the least of which is the fate of these small producers…

“‘Danone is effectively consolidating their supply base. The way they’ve done it is (what) any large conglomerate company would do. They do it impersonally. It’s not as if they are holding meetings with farmers in the area and saying these are the challenges we’re having in transporting milk and can we work together’…

“The report notes: ‘Large dairies have shifted from trying to justify their lack of grazing and pasture for their lactating dairy cows to creating the illusion of meeting the low standard set by the USDA. This illusion is made possible by a number of agreeable accredited organic certifying agents who are willing to collect large certification fees while looking the other way, facilitated by deficient oversight of these agents by the NOP’…

“The squeezing out of small organic producers who operate with integrity is a major concern for the organic dairy sector, of course, but also, for the larger issue of organic integrity and the public’s trust in the meaning of the certified organic label. Is the milk that comes from an ‘organic’ CAFO the same product as milk that comes from a small Vermont dairy whose herd is on pasture for half the year? Many believe it is not. In 2018, Beyond Pesticides wrote of ‘organic’ CAFO-produced milk: ‘The Washington Post’s 2017 report found that Aurora Organic Dairy, a major milk supplier for big box retailers like Walmart and Safeway, is producing milk that was less nutrient dense compared to small-scale organic family farms. . . . The subsequent [report] . . . found that the living conditions indicated by the photos [of CAFOs] did result in cows producing nutritionally deficient milk.’

“The NOP must clarify rules, tighten enforcement of standards, and level the playing field for small- and medium-sized producers, who are currently disadvantaged by the competitive perquisites the large conglomerate operations enjoy. Members of the public are encouraged to contact federal elected officials and the USDA itself to advocate for such changes. Meanwhile, consumers can consider their own dairy purchases and vote with their food dollars to support ethical, sustainable, and transparent organic brands that source from smaller, regional producers. For more information on why it is so important to not only protect, but strengthen the organic label, see Beyond Pesticides’ Keeping Organic Strong webpage.”




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