Keep Your Milk In Maine

A milk processor recently ceased production in Bangor, which resulted in the loss of 35 jobs. The hidden economic impact of this closure to all Maine dairy farmers, including those in Washington County, will be felt later this winter when they receive their Maine Milk Pool (MMP) check reflecting this change. 

 Specifically, Dean Foods’ decision to shut the doors of the Grants/Garelick plant in Bangor means on an annual basis, approximately $600,000 less could go into the Maine Milk Pool. This is because Dean Foods will no longer be paying into the Maine Milk Pool the estimated $600,000 for the milk they process in Maine. Instead this milk will be processed out of state. It is important to note, it will not be just those dairy farmers shipping their milk to Dean Foods, but all 304 Maine dairy farmers will be sharing in this loss. 

While Maine dairy farmers will be losing $600,000, the ripple effect to the Maine economy will be much greater. With $600,000 less income, Maine dairy farmers will be cutting payroll, spending less on local services and spending less with local businesses.  These cutbacks will be felt far beyond the local farm.

As one of the few remaining Maine-based dairy processors, Oakhurst is launching the “Keep Your Milk in Maine” campaign to help raise consumer and retailer awareness that milk that is farmed, bottled and sold in Maine has the maximum economic benefit to our local dairy farmers and our local communities. Oakhurst is doing this to support its 72 partner farmers, as well as the 232 other Maine dairy farmers that will be affected. The Keep Your Milk in Maine website is www.keepyourmilkinmaine.com and features a video of conversations with farmers about how this could impact them. 

Maine residents can support local dairy farmers by knowing where their milk comes from, looking for and purchasing milk that has the Maine quality seal on its packages and asking grocers to buy milk farmed and bottled in Maine.

For more information, visit www.keepyourmilkinmaine.com.