Organic Valley gives 58 northeastern dairies a new home for milk
A Wisconsin-based dairy cooperative leader says a lot of work went into bringing 58 northeastern producers into their cooperative after two processors announced they would stop picking up their milk.
Travis Forgues of Organic Valley tells Brownfield it helped for them to already have a presence in the region. “We were in a position where the milk is located with farmers in the areas where we already have a lot of farmers because we have 600 farmers in the northeast kind of contingent of 11 states there. they kind of fit into our routes.”
Forgues says when a national producer and a New York-based producer left these farmers with a lot of uncertainty, they did what they could to give many a new home for their milk. “So we put out letters of intent to try to take some of the stress out that we would take them by the end of their contracts and now we’re able to move forward and bringing them on. Some of them are on now and then we’re hoping to have the rest of them on by August 1st, but I’m going to say by August 15th.”
Forgues tells Brownfield he personally met with many of the farmers. “To watch their fear go away and smiles return to their faces, people were really looking at losing their farms and their livelihoods, and so very humbled and happy that Organic Valley was in a position to help and to bring these farmers on.”