Spotlight on the Viability Initiative: Stonyfield Farm
The New Hampshire Food Alliance is excited to announce the Farm, Fish, and Food Enterprise Viability Initiative. This initiative entails several areas of opportunity where the network can create conditions that will lead to more profitable and sustainable farm, fish, and food enterprises including Education, Land Resources and Access, Market Development, and Food Accessibility. In order to illustrate the great work that is already being done in these areas, we have compiled a series of blog posts to share success stories. This Spotlight on the Viability Initiative focuses on the opportunity area of Market Development.
Stonyfield is committed to helping the organic dairy industry not just survive, but thrive. Through custom technical assistance for all producers who contract directly with Stonyfield, farmers receive access to tailored support from industry professionals, which allows farmers to optimize and grow their business. Britt Lundgren, director of organic and sustainable agriculture for Stonyfield notes that by helping farmers, Stonyfield also benefits. “Our hope is that the technical assistance program will help producers improve their bottom line and thus their long term viability and sustainability. In the long run, this means a higher quality and more stable supply of milk for us.”
While the Stonyfield farm processing plant is located in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Stonyfield receives milk from organic dairy producers around the New England region and beyond. Currently, Stonyfield has just a small number of farms in their direct supply located in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, which Britt sees as an opportunity for all New England dairy farmers. “A healthy dairy sector is still a vital part of the health of our agricultural economy in New England, and we believe it is possible to grow that sector and demonstrate to a new generation of farmers that this is a viable and desirable career path.” Stonyfield works with new farmers who are looking to get started, conventional growers who want to transition, or existing organic dairy farmers who want to expand. With a guaranteed buyer for their milk, farmers can concentrate more time on their production operation and worry less about marketing their product.