May 23, 2013; Mother Nature Network
A small organic dairy co-op in Maine, Maine’s Own Organic Milk—also known as MOOMilk—has had its struggles but it looks like the farmers are finally receiving the financial support they need. MOOMilk received an equity investment of $3 million from an anonymous New Hampshire backer, the largest investment the co-op has ever seen.
MOOMilk is a low-profit limited liability corporation formed by ten local organic farms in Maine. The farmers banded together to form MOOMilk when mega-dairy company HP Hood discontinued their contracts and none of these farms were able to find another organic buyer. The co-op struggled through the first few strenuous years to make a name for the company in the competitive dairy market. The documentary Betting The Farm tells the story of several farmers in MOOMilk and their fight to survive. The film depicts the hardships organic dairy farmers face, as well as the immense value these farms bring to communities.
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Watch the trailer for the documentary here; their stories will touch your hearts.
Eleanor Kinney, long-time investor in MOOMilk and member of Slow Money Maine, told Bangor Daily News that the $3 million investment “is huge” and will allow the company to grow its marketing budget. “We need to redesign our carton, re-do our ads, all those things that help build a brand and grow our markets.”
This is a promising story for local farmers struggling to make ends meet, and shows the tremendous power local businesses can yield when they band together.—Aine Creedon