posted at 3:01 pm Tue Oct 24th, 2006 by (Jen)
A farmer-owned company announced this week that it will begin producing a range of dairy products under the Vermont Milk Company label from a processing plant in Hardwick.
Farmers launch Vermont Milk Company
MONTPELIER — A farmer-owned company announced this week that it will begin producing a range of dairy products under the Vermont Milk Company label from a processing plant in Hardwick.
The Dairy Farmers of Vermont announced that the new company would produce a range of dairy products under its own label as well as for other Vermont food companies. It will specialize in processing rBST-free milk from Vermont farms into value-added dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
The announcement caps a three-year effort by a group of farmers in response to the continuing drop in milk prices.
“We realized our only choice was to take control of our milk,” said dairy farmer and company board member Chantale Nadeau. “We can’t keep struggling to survive the ups and downs of milk prices. We are always getting squeezed while somebody out there is making a profit off our milk. We need to add value to our milk and get a fair and stable price. That is what The Vermont Milk Company is about.”
A cornerstone of the company’s business plan is a pledge to pay farmers a minimum of $15 per hundredweight of milk.
“Everyone loves to talk about supporting Vermont farmers because they are so important to Vermont. We are doing something about it, ” said Anthony Pollina, the company’s executive vice president. “We’re working with local farmers and paying fair prices, because we want to do more than talk, to see Vermont’s dairy farmers thrive. A stable minimum is the first step, and building a market for Vermont-only milk will make it sustainable.”
The company plans to aggressively leverage the Vermont name as well as the growing demand for locally produced products and pass that premium on to farmers.
“We know there is significant demand for products made and processed entirely in Vermont. Consumers around the country know that Vermont means quality and that is especially true in the food industry,” said Peter Burmeister, the company’s chief operating officer. “In many cases, value-added dairy companies – cheese makers, ice cream makers and other food manufacturers – would prefer to make their products with Vermont milk, but have had difficulty sourcing 100 percent Vermont milk."
For more information about the Vermont Milk Company, visit their website.
155 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)