For dairy processors focused on organic and natural milk, 2006 might have been even more tumultuous than it was for the rest of the milk business. A simmering dispute over pasture access boiled over, Wal-Mart phoned in a big order, and conventional dairy processors began to introduce “naturally produced” milk, setting up a middle category of milk made without the use of rBST, but also without adherence to the USDA organic standards.
After years of trial and tribulation, the U.S. dairy industry may have finally turned the tide on declining milk sales. Numbers available at press time indicate that overall volume of milk sales for 2006 will likely add up to about 1% growth over 2005.
Rose Mattus, who along with her husband Reuben created Haagen-Dazs ice cream, died in November just five days after her 90th birthday. Rose Mattus was the controller of Haagen-Dazs Inc., which later became part of Nestle.
Safeway Inc. said last month that it plans to open about 25 new stores and remodel about 275 others next year. The company has already remodeled about 43% of its 1,767 stores to the “Lifestyle” format, which includes bakeries, a produce section reminiscent of an outdoor market and large flower shop areas.
Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies announced recently that it has become a non-union company. On Dec. 11, the National Labor Relations Board certified and confirmed the results of a decertification vote that took place in October.
The debate over raw milk consumption has been fairly local and quiet in the U.S., but in Canada, it’s grabbed headlines of late. In November, a farmer who has been at the center of the controversy for more than ten years went on a hunger strike, following a renewed government crackdown on his cow share operation.