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.
To help organic dairy farms survive in the Northeast, a first-of-its-kind partnership is asking consumers to pledge to buy dairy products from 35 brands that agreed to expand their purchases of milk from the farms. The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership was a response to decisions by processors to pull out of the region, said Gary Hirshberg, a co-founder of Stonyfield, on Wednesday.
Groups representing organic dairy farmers in the Northeast said Danone North America, owner of Horizon Organic, needs to do more to cushion farmers against its decision to pull out of the region. Danone said it would extend contracts with 89 dairy farmers for an additional six months, provide a transition payment to the producers, and explore "co-investment solutions" with state and federal officials.
Global food company Danone has given a year's notice to 79 organic dairy farms in the Northeast that it will stop buying their milk on Aug. 31, 2022. The decision is just the latest squeeze on organic dairy producers, who face rising costs and pressures to consolidate.
European chemical companies have revealed plans to develop plant-based plastics for Coca-Cola bottles and Danone yogurt cups, says Reuters. One of the firms, Avantium, will announce an initial public offering (IPO) this week to help fund a new production facility for the material, which it is co-producing with Germany's BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world.
The Cornucopia Institute, an organic food industry watchdog group, said it filed a letter with the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission opposing the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave Foods by French dairy giant, Groupe Danone, for about $10 billion.