Lori Dahm, technical editor
Bettering the World
The organic industry is in the midst of an identity crisis. Some activists within the industry are lobbying for much stricter regulations, while others within the industry are driven to make organic goods widely available to consumers through the best means possible.
One such “bettering the world” example is Aurora Dairy in Platteville, Colo. Aurora’s cows are treated well. Herds are given access to the outdoors and are raised without the use of antibiotics.
In comparison to tied-down dairy cows raised with antibiotics and hormones, Aurora’s efforts should be applauded as furthering the organic cause by making more organic product available at reasonable prices.
In April I wrote that Aurora had gained an exemption to access to pasture. This is incorrect. Rather, Aurora’s certifier determined that the dairy’s treatment of cows — including access to pasture — is in line with the interpretation of the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. And after hearing from Aurora and then conducting investigative research, I agree.
The big picture is that companies like Aurora Dairy are affecting positive change. Rather than having Aurora be penalized for its large herd, it would serve the organic movement to realize that consumer access to organic milk has increased through Aurora’s efforts.
And in comparison to the requirements for conventional dairies, Aurora’s humane treatment of their cows is downright remarkable.