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Suppliers Struggle To Meet Demand For Popular Organic Milk

CBS New York (con't)

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HOBOKEN, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — If you are looking for organic milk you may find that these days it’s a little bit harder to come by.

As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported, organic suppliers are having a hard time meeting demand, and for some people when it comes to milk organic is the only way to go.

“I would stop drinking milk altogether rather than go to more conventional milk,” Hoboken resident Athena Sapir said, “I feel better knowing what I’m putting in my body and that it is organic as opposed to full of antibiotics and things like that.”

In order to call milk “organic,” farmers can only feed their cows organic food. They have to use organic fertilizers and pesticides, and they can’t give their cows any supplemental hormones to boost production.

“It’s not that much more expensive and it’s right there, something easy that you know you can do. So, I choose to buy the organic,” Hoboken resident Jennifer Parikh said.

The milk’s popularity has led to a national shortage, one that has forced some retailers to apologize in advance for sporadic product scarcity.

“One of the most important things is the feed that they’re giving to the animals,” Evan Fleishmann, General Manager, Organic Basic Food Market, explained.

Recent spikes in the price of organic corn and other feed material is driving some farmers out of business, Fleishmann explained. Especially since they are not subsidized by the government.

“There are so many subsidies for conventional farming and there aren’t for organic farming, and if we took subsidies out of conventional food the prices would be the same,” he said.

Organic milk already costs more than conventional milk, but the shortage could result in a price hike.

One group of producers in the northeast has proposed a 60-cent per gallon price hike, there was no word on if that hike would result in an actual price increase for consumers.

A number of conventional dairy farmers have switched to organic, but it takes three years to comply with federal standards. That is the amount of time that it takes for a farm’s soil to be free of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides.

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