Maine’s Own Organic Milk Company has made it to the the one-year mark! Formed to keep organic Maine dairy farmers in business, 90% of their profits are returned to the farms that produce their milk and share ownership in the company. They recovered from a setback in September, and went on and partnered with Wayside Food Programs in Portland to provide better access to organic milk to who couldn’t otherwise affort it. Congratulations, MOOMilk!
MOOMilk is one year old — Thank you to everyone who helped get us this far!
January 26th marked MOOMilk’s first anniversary.
In a year’s time we have gone from selling no milk to selling more than 3,000 cartons of local organic milk every week. We’ve done this with the help of our business partners — all Maine family businesses — who produce, truck, process and distribute our milk, as well as our investors who put their money into our company because they believe in the importance of local agriculture and supporting the local economy.
Most importantly, we’ve done this with the help of our loyal customers who continue to purchase MOOMilk. For a year now you have helped keep our family farms in business by purchasing Maine’s Own Organic Milk at your local store. Today, MOOMilk can be found in Hannaford, IGA and natural food stores all over Maine, as well as in Whole Foods Stores in Maine and Massachusetts and the Harvest Coop chain in metro Boston.
We also have partnered with Wayside Food Programs in Portland, a wonderful non-profit that runs soup kitchens and supplies food pantries throughout southern Maine. Any food group will tell you that milk is the most expensive part of their program, so we are especially proud that the donation program we set up with Wayside has helped provide wholesome organic milk to those who otherwise could not afford it.
While we are pleased to have met the milestone of one year in business, we know that we need to grow our business in order to sustain it. As is the case with most small businesses, we operated our first year with the help of startup funds provided by investors and a credit line. Our goal for this coming year is to double our sales, so that by the time we get to 2012 we are a sustainable business and earning a profit — 90 percent of which will be returned to our farmers. Along the way, we hope to be able to offer some of the additional products that many of you have asked for — butter in one-pound packages, cream and half & half in consumer packaging, and perhaps some flavored milk products as well.
The guiding principle of our company is to provide a stable market for our family farms. The best way you can help us help our farmers is to buy their milk, and urge your friends and family to do the same. If you don’t see our milk in your store, stop at the customer service desk and ask for it. Remind the store that MOOMilk can be purchased through the Oakhurst and the Crown of Maine distribution systems, as well as NEFoodEx in Massachusetts.
Also, please consider participating in our Wayside donation program. Under this program, you purchase milk directly from MOOMilk, at below retail prices, and we see that your milk is made available to Wayside as needed. This not only provides additional sales to help our farmers, but because Wayside is a non-profit organization, your donation can be tax deductible. When you purchase milk under this program, MOOMilk will send you a receipt for the purchase and Wayside will send you an acknowledgement of your donation. You can learn more about this program, and the other work that Wayside does, by visiting our MOOMilk website.
As we look back over our first year, we thank outgoing Commissioner of Agriculture Seth Bradstreet III, who remains a good friend and strong supporter of our project. We look forward to continuing to work with the Department under the leadership of incoming Commissioner Walter Whitcomb.
Thank you, also, to our partners in this venture, Schoppee Milk Transport, Smiling Hill Dairy, Oakhurst Dairy, Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative, MOFGA and Maine Farm Bureau.
And most of all, thank you to our wonderful base of customers, without whose support we would not be celebrating our first anniversary.
For more information about MOOMilk and their program with Wayside, please visit www.moomilk.com.