After Danone, the owner of Horizon Organic, notified 14 Maine organic dairy farms that the global brand intends not to renew contracts for milk with them and other farms across New England Governor Janet Mills and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal released the following statement today pledging to assist the 14 Maine farms:
“This is a devastating setback for Maine’s organic dairy community and these fourteen farms in particular. Every dairy farm in Maine is important to our state and to our economy. We will work diligently to help those who will be losing their contracts.
“The Department has begun the process of reaching out to the impacted farms, and its Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources is exploring ways to assist these farms in response to this disappointing decision.
“The Department has also started working with Maine’s Congressional Delegation and other agriculture industry stakeholders — including the Maine Dairy Industry Association, Maine Organic Milk Producers, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Farmland Trust, Coastal Enterprises, Inc, Maine Farm Bureau, and Maine Milk Commission — to form a working group that will discuss both short- and long-term strategies to help the affected farms and support the ongoing viability of Maine’s dairy industry.
“Our Administration will continue to support Maine’s dairy farms and our agricultural community through this challenging time.”
According to Danone, farm contract opportunities will cease in August 2022. Danone also notified farms in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York that it will also cease contracts with them.