Featured Farm: Jamink Farm,
St. Andrews, Ontario, Canada
Jamink Farm was established in 2014 as a 50/50 partnership between husband and wife Thomas and Julia Booijink. The unique farm name is a combination of equal parts: three letters from Julia’s maiden name (James) and three letters from Thomas’ last name (Booijink). More than a name, it’s a symbol of the couple’s shared passion for dairy farming. Thomas and Julia, along with their three-year old daughter, Felicity, and soon-to-be baby, milk 85 cows. 50% of the herd is Holsten and 50% is Jersey. Both breeds are registered. The pair owns 500 acres in St. Andrews, Ontario, situated in the southeastern point of Canada’s 2nd largest and most populous province. For more on this NODPA featured farm please go to:
November Feature Farm
Danone Announces the Purchase of WhiteWave Foods: How this will impact Organic Dairy Farmers in the Northeast?
On July 7, 2016, Danone announced that it will buy WhiteWave Foods in a deal worth $12.5 billion in cash and a $34 million golden parachute to the WhiteWave CEO, Greg Engles. Danone merging with WhiteWave will make Danone one of the top 15 food and beverage producers in the US. Danone has more than one-third (33.7 percent) of U.S. yogurt sales in 2015, considerably higher than its nearest rival, General Mills, which has 25.3 percent of the market. Though a smaller portion of the market, WhiteWave’s Horizon and Wallaby organic yogurt brands compete with Danone’s Stonyfield organic yogurts. Stonyfield makes the number-one selling brand of organic yogurt and the number-three, overall, yogurt brand in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. The companies are projecting $300 million in synergies by 2020. Cecile Canais, chief financial officer of Danone, said the company is projecting $300 million in synergies on an annual basis. For the complete article please go to:
Statement of the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing, Inc. (OFARM) to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
The U.S. organic market has been deluged with imports of organic corn and soybeans that are highly suspect as to their organic integrity.
Current USDA FAS GATS data shows that Turkey and Ukraine, up until last year, as being top exporters of organic corn and soybeans to the U.S. in 2016 (July, Turkey, 930,000 bushels of corn, 333,265 bushels of soybeans; August, Turkey 1,178,308 bushels of corn, 215,210 bushels of soybeans) This trend is on pace to be almost a million bushels of corn into the U.S. per month in 2016.
The rise of imports from Turkey especially raises concern as have imports from the Ukraine and Romania. A 2016 report by USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service summarized the potential for fraudulent activity in the Turkish organic sector: For the complete article please go to:
Pay and Feed Price Update
Its official – we are in a surplus supply situation and CROPP is selling organic milk into the conventional market. George Siemon posted on Odairy list serve: “There is an oversupply in most of the nation, and our cooperative for one is selling milk conventionally rather than lowering the target price so that we protect the long-term organic price.” Pay price has been hit though with both CROPP and WhiteWave taking up to two dollars off the Market Adjustment Premium (MAP) which doesn’t affect the base price but is significant as we enter into the winter months. Pay price must reflect costs of production, a fair wage for the managers of the operation (living expenses), and a return on investment so that there can be re-investment in the operation or an ability to service debt. Pay price should control supply and growth especially at this moment when dairy manufacturers want organic milk and dairy products. If it doesn’t, we are another large step down the conventional road where buyers will be driving down the pay price while pushing for economies of scale that will make organic dairy nonviable in New England and the Northeast.
George Siemon was very clear about the direction that he is taking CROPP, the largest purchaser and wholesaler of organic milk in the country. On NODPA’s Odairy listserv, he said “We set out to bring organic into the food system, and we have succeeded…. I hope we all agree that this is good news for family farms. Now, the real challenge is how to maintain the farmer pay price and to ensure integrity at all levels.” He is also quoted in a Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota article on 10/29/16, in which he said that he largely agrees with its accuracy, as saying, “Our job is not to increase our own profits, it’s to do organics right,” adding that, “General Mills’ job is to grow demand.” The conventional companies expect that with increased volume, their raw ingredients (organic milk) will become cheaper. Foreign countries see the large US organic market as very attractive, especially those countries with lower costs of production. This is very evident in the organic grain and feed market which is now overrun with cheap imports. For more on feed and pay price plus charts please go to:
November feed and pay price update