The Organic Milk Business Has Gone Bad: Are You Buying Less Organic Milk?



According to the New York Times, the organic milk business has gone bad in a hurry. Are you drinking less organic milk these days, serious eaters?

Before we get to the reasons why these farmers are struggling, at least according to Times contributor Katie Zezima, I feel compelled to say that it's this kind of story that demonstrates why we need newspapers to endure. Because without quality institutions like the Times, with its wealth of reporters, editors, and stringers, stories like this might go unreported. Or, at the very least, they wouldn't be made available to the general public. Has anyone read about the plight of these farmers in any other consumer publication, online or in print?

Now back to the story: Why are organic dairy farmers struggling so badly?

  • Rising organic feed prices
  • Falling milk prices
  • Decreasing demand for organic milk
  • Too much organic milk in the marketplace

For those farmers, the promises of going organic—a steady paycheck and salvation for small family farms—have collapsed in the last six months. As the trend toward organic food consumption slows after years of explosive growth, no sector is in direr shape than the $1.3 billion organic milk industry. Farmers nationwide have been told to cut milk production by as much as 20 percent, and many are talking of shutting down.

Scary stuff, serious eaters.