March 8, 2022 | Montpelier, VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is delighted that Organic Valley has stepped up to help nearly 80 family farms in Vermont and the Northeast, who, until today, were to lose their market for their milk this summer.
When the news that Horizon intended to leave the Northeast market in summer 2022 reached Vermont, many farmers in the Northeast were facing the reality they would have nowhere to ship their milk. Now, Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative, has announced through a letter of intent that it is offering 80 Northeast organic family farms a market for their milk.
Among the 80 farms are dozens of small Vermont family-run farms. “This is a significant development, and we are grateful to Organic Valley for stepping up to offer this option to family farms in Vermont,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture.
Upon the unexpected announcement by Horizon last year, VAAFM swiftly formed a task force working with farmers, processors, and partners to find a solution to the loss of Horizon’s market. “Today’s action by Organic Valley is the outcome that we hoped for when we created the task force. Now we must build upon this development and make sure we continue to secure a long-term market for farmers,” said Tebbetts.
Organic Valley has announced 80 farms could sign up with the new arrangement; 10 have already signed up to join the dairy cooperative.
This action by Organic Valley follows last week’s news that the United States Department of Agriculture was providing $20 million dollars to the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center, facilitated by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center will begin working with farmers and those who work in dairy on a plan to invest these dollars back into the dairy industry.
To read the Organic Valley press release online, click here.