Can Danone reach its climate goals without scaling back dairy farming?
Last month, the French food company Danone — owner of milk and yogurt brands like Activia and Horizon Organics — pledged to cut absolute methane emissions from its milk supply chains by 30 percent by 2030, making it the first major food company with a methane-specific emissions target. But reducing those methane emissions is far from simple. A “methane ambition” document released by Danone outlines a few options, although somewhat vaguely and without acknowledging some of the controversies surrounding them. No paywall
Dairy farmers to get up to $200 million in USDA aid
The Biden administration expanded a pandemic relief program for dairy farmers on Monday to cover up to 9 million pounds of milk produced during the second half of 2020, up from the original 5 million pounds. The Agriculture Department also announced a new assistance program for organic dairy farmers, who face sharply higher feed expenses.
Sales of antibiotics for food animals rise by 6 percent — FDA
Drug makers sold 11.1 million kilograms (24.5 million pounds) of antibiotics for use in cattle, hogs and poultry last year, up 6 percent from 2021, chiefly because of a large increase in sales of antimicrobials that are not considered medically important, said the FDA on Monday. Despite year-to-year fluctuations, like last year's increase, sales are much lower nowadays than before the FDA barred the use of antimicrobials to encourage weight gain in livestock.
‘Stay tuned,’ says Vilsack as dairy demands retaliatory tariffs
The United States was "greatly disappointed" by Canada's refusal to allow larger imports of U.S. dairy products despite a USMCA trade ruling, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. Vilsack expressed solidarity with U.S. dairy groups that called for retaliatory tariffs on Canadian goods, telling reporters, "Stay tuned."
USDA closes loopholes on origin of organic dairy livestock
After years of lobbying by organic farmers, the Agriculture Department tightened its rules on how dairy animals — cattle, goats and sheep — enter organic production, in the name of fairness to farmers and consumers. The new “origin of livestock” rule would end the practice of cycling dairy …
Canadian dairy quotas violate USMCA terms, dispute panel rules
In the first decision under the new North America trade pact, a three-judge dispute settlement panel ruled that Canada had manipulated its tariff-rate quotas to limit imports of U.S. dairy products, despite agreeing to greater U.S. access in the 2020 agreement. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the ruling was a signal of U.S. resolve against unjustified trade restrictions anywhere.
Farmers, advocates concerned about Vilsack’s record on dairy issues
Some dairy farmers and advocates are worried that president-elect Joe Biden's pick for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, will do little to address their concerns about issues like consolidation, farm bankruptcies and low milk prices. Critics are especially concerned about how Vilsack’s years running a dairy industry trade group will affect his policymaking approach.(No paywall)
Stung by coronavirus, producers ask government to buy their goods
The government should step up its food purchases as a way to mitigate the potential loss of billions of dollars in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic, said dairy farmers and two dozen lawmakers representing fruit and vegetable growers. And a small-farm advocacy group estimated a three-month …
Burdened by debt, Borden files for bankruptcy reorganization
Once the world's largest dairy operator, Borden Dairy said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, aiming to reduce its debt load "and position the company for long-term success." The bankruptcy filing over the weekend in Delaware courts followed the November bankruptcy of Dean Foods, one of the largest U.S. milk processors.
In Oregon, a failed mega-dairy spurs call for CAFO moratorium
The troubled tenure of Lost Valley Farm in Boardman, Oregon, a mega-dairy that housed 15,000 cows, has sparked calls for reform of the permitting process for such operations. Some farm and environmental advocates want the state to pass a bill that would issue a moratorium on new mega-dairies, …
Family farming on a precipice, Wisconsin farmers warn
Corporate consolidation and low commodity prices are posing an existential threat to small, family farms, farmers warned at an event hosted by the Wisconsin Farmers Union in Madison last week. Several producers, from small organic growers to commodity milk farmers, shared stories about how tough farming has become.
FDA on ‘fast track’ to assess labeling of non-dairy milks
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it is moving ahead on modernizing its standards of identity for plant-based dairy alternatives, like soy and almond milks.
Food companies and farmers active at Climate Action Summit
If the Trump administration’s effort to stymie action on climate change is having an impact on food and farming, it isn’t apparent at the Global Climate Action Summit underway in San Francisco this week. (No paywall)
Canada needs ‘flexibility’ on dairy in NAFTA bargaining, says Mulroney
Amid rumors that Canada will offer concessions on dairy trade, former prime minister Brian Mulroney said he would be surprised if the new NAFTA did not include "flexibility" on the country's supply management system. Agriculture is a small part of NAFTA trade but it is a stubborn impediment in U.S.-Canada negotiations.
Report on organic dairy highlights consolidation, industrialization
A new report from the Cornucopia Institute updates the group’s earlier research on the continuing industrialization of the organic dairy industry. The report includes a consumer scorecard that ranks commercially available dairy products on such metrics as whether the cows have access to pasture, what they’re fed, and whether they’re raised on industrial farms.
Continuing dairy crisis shuts down well-known New Hampshire farmer
Amid an ongoing dairy crisis, the former commissioner of agriculture for New Hampshire is closing his 48-year-old dairy farm in Meriden. While Steve Taylor will no longer produce milk, he will continue to make cheese and maple products.
As milk prices stay low, a call for drastic dairy reform
More than fifty rural, agriculture, and labor organizations signed onto a letter demanding that Congress and the Department of Agriculture do more to support dairy farmers as low prices continue to threaten small and mid-size dairies across the country. The organizations include the National Family Farm Coalition, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, the Rural Coalition, Pesticide Action Network North America, and many others.
As a dairy scandal settles, a fight in Oregon about the future of farming
A scandal involving Lost Valley, Oregon’s second-largest dairy, illuminates a broader debate in the state: whether or not it should welcome more industrial, large-scale farming operations, and particularly large-scale dairies. No paywall
While U.S. dairy farmers face a bleak market, their Canadian counterparts thrive
Dairy farmers in Canada are paid about $24 per hundred pounds of milk, nearly $10 more than their American counterparts, who may live mere miles to the south.