With regional and multi-national dairy corporations reneging on commitments to family dairy farmers in the Northeast, farmer-owned cooperative Organic Valley is doubling down on its mission to do the exact opposite: save small, organic family farms throughout the US.
For five small, organic family farms in the Northeast, the new year begins with a fresh start: joining Organic Valley. 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. 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 says will be a yearlong campaign to save small, organic family dairy farms of the Northeast. This is yet another step the farmer-owned cooperative is taking to uphold its decades-long mission to sustain small, organic family farms.
“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,” said Bob Kirchoff, Organic Valley CEO. “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. 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. 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.
About Organic Valley
Organic Valley is passionate about doing what’s right for people, animals, and earth and is committed to bringing ethically made organic food to families everywhere. Organic Valley is the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest organic consumer brands. Founded in 1988 to sustain family farms through organic farming, the cooperative represents approximately 1,700 farmers in 34 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit their website. Organic Valley is also @OrganicValley on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.