I wrote an article a couple of months ago asking if there is room in the market for small organic dairy farmers. I focused on the small Maine dairy co-op MOOMilk, which was formed by organic farmers after their contracts were dropped by dairy giant H.P. Hood. Things didn't go smoothly for MOOMilk in the early years, and at times they came close to shutting down. Their struggles were wonderfully captured on screen by filmmakers Cecily Pingree and Jason Mann in the documentary "Betting The Farm."
This is fantastic news not only for MOOMilk, but for all small organic dairy farmers, both in and out of Maine. If MOOMilk falls, its member farmers will have little choice but to abandon organic practices or to shut down all together. Most of the MOOMilk farmers live in northern Maine and have small spreads, making it harder to compete with much larger industrial dairy farms located closer to distribution facilities. MOOMilk is building a model that can hopefully be replicated all over the world. We will all be better served when more farmers directly control the distribution and marketing of their products.
Nice work MOOMilk!
Read more about MOOMilk, cows, and organic dairy here on MNN: