Buying a quart of organic yogurt or a half-gallon of organic milk once a week could be the difference between a local farm staying in business or selling off its cows.
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Miller Farm in Vernon, Vt., is a direct supplier of milk to Stonyfield. Kristopher Radder Brattleboro Reformer
Source: Bennington Banner

That’s the message from the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, which was formed following the announcement from Horizon Organic and Maple Hill Creamery that they are ending contracts with 135 farms in the Northeast by 2023.

“It was a clarion call,” said Gary Hirshberg, one of the co-founders of Stonyfield Farms, who is organizing the Organic Family Farm Partnership. “The shocking part of this was the scale. It’s been a very sad and scary time for those farms ever since.”

Since the announcement, Stonyfield has said it will buy milk from some of the farms directly through its Direct Supply Program and through Organic Valley, an independent cooperative of organic farmers based in La Farge, Wisconsin, which already supplies milk to Stonyfield.

Globally, consumers can’t get enough of the quality and taste of American dairy products. Foreign exports of American dairy are twice the volume of the nation’s domestic dairy consumption. Last year, about 18% of U.S. dairy production was exported, and economists forecast that percentage to grow more than 25% in 2023.

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