Even the New York Times is recognizing the hard times in dairy these days. Specifically, it published a lengthy story yesterday on the struggles of organic dairy farms in New England and the Midwest. www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/us/29dairy.html
While organic milk had enjoyed double-digit growth over the past several years, USDA now reports sales are dropping as recession-plagued consumers switch back to conventional milk. Sales of organic whole milk fell 2.5% in February while sales of reduced-fat plummeted 15%.
HP Hood, Horizon Organic and Organic Valley are all slashing their contracts with farmers, saying there is a glut of organic milk available. Some organic producers are now considering going back to the conventional market, or shutting down completely.