Danone needs to do more, say organic dairy farmers

Organic agriculture groups challenged Danone North America on Monday to match the USDA commitment to support organic dairy farming in the Northeast.

“We urge Danone to invest at least $20 million in this region, matching the USDA taxpayer investment to aid organic dairy farmers overcome this crisis,” said six organic groups on the anniversary of Danone’s decision to terminate contracts with 89 dairy farms in the region.

Danone, owner of the dairy brand Horizon Organic, offered last December to extend contracts with farmers for an additional six months, make severance payments to farmers and “explore co-investment solutions that will address some of the systemic challenges related to Northeast dairy infrastructure.”

“To date, all farms were offered the contract extension, very few farmers say they have received their severance payments and Danone still has not made any financial investment in the region’s organic dairy industry,” said the farm groups.

Of the 89 farms terminated by Danone, 18 have reached milk contracts with Stonyfield or Organic Valley and eight have ceased operation, reported Politico.

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