Hannaford Bros. Joins Local Dairy Initiative

Hannaford Bros. Co., based in Maine, has become the first U.S. supermarket chain to join a program aimed at protecting New England dairy farms, officials said.

The Keep Local Farms program, initiated in September, is sponsored by the New England-Vermont Dairy Promotion Council, New England Dairy Promotion Board and New England Family Dairy Farms Cooperative. The goal of the program is to educate consumers on the benefits of local milk and dairy farmers, and to encourage retailers, universities and others to buy local milk.

“Over the past decade, we have seen multi-generational dairy farms close down because of low milk prices and the rising costs to run a dairy farm,” said Gary Wheelock, head of The New England Dairy Promotion Board. “The Keep Local Farms program aims to create awareness for the struggling dairy farmer and educates consumers on how they can help to keep the supply of locally produced milk intact now and in the future.”

Officials say there are only 2,000 dairy farms in New England, since two-thirds of those that existed in 1990 have closed.

Source: Hannaford Bros. Co.