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Organic dairy co-op offers membership to Northeast farms

Thousands of gallons of milk were distributed during the giveaway
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Gallons of milk

An international organic milk cooperative is offering membership to small organic farms in the Northeast that were poised to lose the market for their milk.

Last summer the parent company of Horizon Organic announced it would stop buying milk from 28 farms in Vermont and another 61 in Maine, New Hampshire and New York.

Separately, a New York-based organic dairy announced it was terminating contracts with 46 New York organic farms. The news left farmers in the region scrambling to find markets for their milk.

The Wisconsin-based Organic Valley Cooperative announced Tuesday that a total of 90 small Northeast farms have been accepted as members including dozens in Vermont.

In addition another organic dairy, Stonyfield Farms, will be extending offers to five farms.

It's unclear how many of the remaining farms are still without a market for their milk.

Organic Valley describes itself as the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the U.S. It represents about 1,700 farmers in 34 U.S. states, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

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