The recent decision by Danone North America, owner of Horizon Organic, to terminate contracts with 89 organic dairy farmers in Northeast states has angered organic and consumer groups, who say the decision will devastate small family farms in the region and runs counter to the company’s Certified B Corporation commitment. In response to the criticism, Danone says it remains committed to buying milk from small organic dairy farms.
Terminated contracts of 89 family dairy farms
In August, Danone/Horizon notified 27 farms in Vermont, 2 in New Hampshire, 14 in Maine, and 46 farms in New York that they were terminating their contracts to purchase milk by August 31, 2022.
In a statement, Danone said: “growing transportation and operational challenges in the dairy industry, particularly in the northeast, led to this difficult decision.”
According to Tina Owens, Danone’s senior director of food & agriculture impact, the company was, in some cases, paying as much as four times as much for freight costs.