Local Farmers Feeding Local Families
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
The story of Organic Meadow is unique. It all began in 1989 when a group of six organic farmers gathered around a kitchen table in Durham, Ontario, with a vision of building a sustainable system to make wholesome food accessible to Canadians. During this time organic food was in its infancy and there were no reliable channels to bring it to market. So these ‘founding farmers’ co-operated together to make a change — and they never looked back.
WHY ARE ORGANIC PRODUCTS MORE EXPENSIVE?
The price for organic products reflects the true costs or production — which are higher relative to their non-organic counterparts. Organic operations are smaller scale, more labour-intensive and produce smaller yields. As such, the same economies of scale cannot be realized. As the supply continues to grow we expect to see the costs of production decrease.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE PURCHASE AND CONSUME ORGANIC DAIRY PRODUCTS?
Consumers are becoming more informed and are looking for products that are locally produced and minimally processed. Parents are concerned about pesticides, GMOs and want clean ingredient lists. Parents can feel good knowing that organic dairy, with its rigorous and transparent standards, provides that assurance about both the food itself and the process through which it’s made.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE WAY YOU GROW AND PREPARE YOUR FOOD AND WHY DOES IT MATTER? IS THERE REGULATION TO ENSURE THAT THE PRODUCTS WE ARE BUYING ARE IN FACT ORGANIC?
In 2009 the Canadian Organic Standards were introduced to ensure transparency and traceability of organic dairy products. The beauty of the standards is that it supports a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture. In particular it prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), ensures the products are free of synthetic chemicals and ingredients (throughout the entire value chain) and gives special attention to animal welfare i.e. prescribing standards to ensure access to pasture and nutrition that prioritizes cow health over milk yield.
DOES THIS MAKE AN IMPACT?
You betcha. Over the lifetime of our co-operative, our farmers have prevented over 25,000 tonnes of fertilizer, 5,000 litres of pesticide and 7,000 litres of herbicide from leaching into our soils.
WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS STAND APART?
As pioneers in organic dairy, our distinct advantage is that we have strong relationships with the local family farms from which we source the organic milk. This means we can offer enhanced traceability and accountability to consumers. In addition, our products are proudly minimally processed (HTST pasteurization), and boast clean ingredient lists that are free of preservatives, added colours/flavours or modified milk ingredients.
Canadians can enjoy Organic Meadow’s complete line of over 60 organic dairy products, including organic milk, cream, kefir, yogurt, cheese, butter and ice cream. You’ll find their products at select retail partners throughout Canada including Longo’s, Whole Foods Markets, Metro, Highland Farms, Farm Boy, Loblaw’s and other fine retailers and health food stores.