Since sweeping barns as a kindergartner and then buying my first registered Holstein at the age of 9, I’ve had a love affair with dairy cattle. However, I really have to wonder what’s happening with our business. We are destroying our once lauded image of “nature’s most perfect” food and completely confusing consumers by allowing marketing to get in the way of this great product. Milk is milk; it all has the same nutrients, the same hormones, is free of antibiotics and all goes through the same testing. Every bulk tank of milk is tested the same, regardless of how it will be eventually labelled.
Marketing misinformation and/or greed has overtaken retail sales of dairy products. From organic to “made from hormone free cows” to “natural to” the latest “humanely produced.” See the article in Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/04/14/ap4888189.html that points to this latest attempt to corner a niche market and secure yet more of the consumer dollar. And we wonder why consumers are confused?
Here’s a newflash; the inflated price of these products is lining marketer’s pockets while the farmer is receiving a decreasing percentage of the retail food dollar, according to Hoard’s Dairyman last month (www.hoards.com).