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Horizon Organic to extend Northeast milk contracts 6 months

The company announced this summer that it would stop buying milk from 89 organic dairy farms in the Northeast.

MAINE, USA — The company that announced this summer that it would stop buying milk from 89 organic dairy farms in the Northeast next August is offering to extend those contracts another six months.

Danone, the parent company of Horizon Organic, notified state officials this week.

The 28 farms in Vermont and a total of 61 in Maine, New Hampshire, and New York were expected to lose their contracts at the end of August of next year when Danone would stop buying milk in the region.

In October, Faithful Venture Farm owner Jodie Martin told NEWS CENTER Maine, "If we don't find a solution, we are kind of out of a business."

Martin said milk from her farm has been under contract with Horizon Organic since 2005. Her Faithful Venture Farm provides the company with 4,000 pounds of milk every other day.

"We hope we can still continue milking," Martin said.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills and Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, met with dairy farmers not long after the announcement.

"I'm upset. Danone is a B Corporation. They're supposed to be involved with social justice," Mills said at the time. 

The governor said she wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture asking for help. Mills thinks the federal government needs to take action.

Danone is now giving the farmers the option to extend the contracts to the end of February 2023.