tleventer (tleventer) wrote in food_storage,

Done with Organic Valley -- aka companies who bully

I remember seeing in the Food Inc documentary about how major brand chicken farmers were essentially told what to do and how to do it since the food company owned the chickens and could renew their contracts or not based on how the farmers followed the company's directions. I think that's a horrible way to live and begrudge the big chicken companies for it.

Now it seems those bullying tactics have flowed to the organic side of things. Organic Valley, a "coop" of dairy farmers, has suddenly put pressure on it's member farmers telling them that if they have a herd share (a way for consumers to get raw milk) they are in jeopardy of losing their OV contracts. By and large, those farmers who participate in Grade A milk supplies along with herd shares certainly aren't getting rich on the herd shares. One farmer said 95% of his milk production goes to pasteurization supplies while the 5% goes towards herd shares. So if that's mostly the case, why then is it necessary for Organic Valley to bully and essentially blackmail the farmers to give up the herd shares? the ODA tried this a few years ago with a fairly large dairy farm north of here. I don't know the ins and outs of how it was settled but they're still doing herdshare. The kids' mom talked to some of her fellow homeschool group moms yesterday that ARE being affected by the Organic Valley bullying... they're losing their herdshare because the farmer can't afford NOT to have that supply line.

I think it's ridiculous! Makes me wonder what they're so worried about and why they feel it necessary to step into thug territory by threatening farmers. If their products are so great, then what's the problem? And their products are good -- we've been purchasing Organic Valley butter for years. But not any more!! Organic Valley's practices of bullying and blackmailing their coop farmers with loss of contract if they continue a herd share operation, no matter the size, is reprehensible and certainly not a business practice I would have expected from a company like Organic Valley. And as long as they continue to dictate to whom farmers can sell legally sell their products, they will not get a dime of my money.

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