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Hannaford Joins Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership

Hannaford dairy door cling for its collaboration with the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership.

Hannaford Supermarkets has become the first supermarket to join a major effort to support organic dairy farms facing challenges in New England and New York. 

The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership came together in 2021 when cancellations of major supply contracts, impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic factors created pressure on organic dairy farms across the region. 

Vermont saw 62 organic dairies close between January 2020 and August 2023, with similar impact across the region. 

For the coming year, Hannaford’s “Local Matters” campaign will highlight local organic dairy and make it easier for customers to find the offerings in store. 

“We know our customers value the local family farms that make organic dairy possible,” said Sue Till, healthy living and sustainability marketing manager for Hannaford. 

“Our goal with this partnership is to emphasize the many benefits – preserving rural agriculture, availability of unique local products and more – that local organic dairy farms make possible.”

Hannaford has committed to promote four brands that are part of the collaboration with the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership:

  • Organic Valley receives milk from more than 250 farms in New England and New York with an average herd size of 70 cows.
  • Stonyfield Organic receives all of its raw milk from farms in New England and the Northeast; 80 percent of its milk from Organic Valley and an additional 36 New England farms direct supply, totaling 16,000 acres of organically-managed farmland.
  • The Milkhouse supplies yogurt made with organic milk from its 380-acre farm in Monmouth, Maine.
  • Butterworks, the oldest certified organic dairy in Vermont, makes 100 percent grass-fed yogurt, kefir and buttermilk with milk from its 400-acre farm in Westfield.

Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chief organic optimist at Stonyfield Organic in Londonderry, New Hampshire, announced the founding of Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership in January 2021. 

According to Hirshberg, retail partnerships like the one with Hannaford open the way for consumers to support local organic dairy.

“Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York are blessed with an extraordinary group of committed, often multi-generational family farmers and processors who work tirelessly to provide organic dairy products,” Hirshberg said. 

“When consumers buy brands committed to sourcing organic milk from these farms, it sends a strong message that we value their role in our communities and we want them to stay in business.”

Travis Forgues, EVP of membership at Organic Valley, also cited how customer-facing partnerships support the long-term sustainability of small organic family farms in the Northeast.

“By choosing to shop at retail partners such as Hannaford and selecting brands such as Organic Valley, customers are not only bringing nourishing food to their family’s table, but also helping to sustain the long-standing tradition of small organic family farms in the Northeast,” Forgues said.

The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership is also involved with other initiatives to support organic farmers, outside of its collaboration with Hannaford. In addition to ongoing efforts, the partnership announced a project in August that will supply bulk organic milk from a local dairy to four Vermont public schools.

Read more dairy news from The Shelby Report.

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Sommer Stockton

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Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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