Putney Co-op First Retailer to Join Regional Initiative in Support of Local Organic Dairy Brands and Farms”
PUTNEY, VT — March 16, 2022 – The Putney Food Co-op is the first retailer to officially join the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership’s efforts to support local organic dairy brands and organic dairy farms.
The Partnership, launched earlier this year through the efforts of Stonyfield Organic co-founder Gary Hirshberg, hopes to encourage consumers to increase their weekly purchases of organic dairy brands with the goal of providing area dairy farms with the demand they need to remain financially viable.
The Putney Co-op is the first of what will be many retailers joining in this effort and has committed to promoting organic dairy brands that include Butterworks Farm, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Miller Farm Milk, Organic Valley, Stonyfield Organic, and Strafford Organic Creamery.
“We have long supported organic agriculture and joining the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership is a logical extension of that support,” says Kim Lefebvre, Putney Co-op Grocery Manager. “We welcome this initiative, applaud its mission, and look forward to helping organic dairy farmers in Vermont and beyond, as we encourage our members to buy brands that rely on these farms for organic milk and other dairy products.”
As part of its role in the Partnership, the Putney Co-op is encouraging its members to purchase one-quarter of their weekly dairy products from participating local organic brands and take a pledge to that effect on the Partnership’s website, at www.saveorganicfamilyfarms.org. More than 2500 consumers have taken the pledge to date, says Olga Moriarty, Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership Executive Director.
The Co-op, founded in 1941 as a result of rationing during World War II, is a community owned marketplace offering natural and organic foods, fresh and local organic produce, organic and humanely raised local meats, poultry, eggs, and Vermont dairy products, in support of local farms and businesses.
About the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership (www.saveorganicfamilyfarms.org)
Last fall, 135 organic family farms across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and eastern New York received the sudden news that Horizon and Maple Hill Creamery were terminating their purchase contracts, effective in early 2023. This news put these farms, many of whom have been in business for generations, at serious risk of closure unless they find alternate outlets. In early January, the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership, a first-of-its-kind campaign in partnership with the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association (MOFGA), was created to help solve the crisis of disappearing family farms in our region.
The Partnership, a collaboration of farmers, processors, retailers, activists, and government agencies, invites consumers to pledge to purchase at least one-fourth of their weekly organic dairy purchases from brands that have committed to sourcing their dairy from Northeast organic family farmers. A central goal of the effort is to increase demand for dairy produced in our region, creating market stability to help at-risk farms and build greater food system resilience for the future.
The Putney Food Co-op is the first retailer to officially join the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership’s efforts to support local organic dairy brands and organic dairy farms. The Partnership, launched earlier this year through the efforts of Stonyfield Organic co-founder Gary Hirshberg, encourages consumers to increase their weekly purchases of organic dairy brands with the goal of providing area dairy farms with the demand they need to remain financially viable. Shown here from left are Jocelyn Lovering, Putney Co-op Assistant Grocery Store Manager; Pete Miller of Miller Farm Milk, one of the brands Co-op members are encouraged to purchase to help in this effort; and Kim Lefebvre, Putney Co-op Grocery Manager. (Courtesy Photo)