Farm Women United's Letter to Agri-Mark
Farm Women United
P.O. Box 113
Laceyville, PA 18623
“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”
February 16, 2018
Chairman of the Board of Directors
P. O. Box 5800
Lawrence, MA 01810
Dear Mr. Rea,
Farm Women United is contacting you in response to the February 1, 2018, letter, which Mr. Robert D. Wellington, Senior Vice-President of Economics, Communications & Legislative Affairs, sent to your farmer-members. We obtained a copy from mainepublic.org.
Mr. Rea, you have been entrusted with the responsibility of leadership in a farmer-owned cooperative. Dairy co-ops have the responsibility to not only market member milk but also to work tirelessly to ensure that their farmer-members receive a fair milk price.
You are evidently aware of the extreme hardships being endured by your family dairy farmers. However, to have your employee, Mr. Wellington, send your members such a grim letter with phone numbers for mental health support, along with suicide hotlines, without also taking an open, bold stand to give farmers hope for restoring fair farm milk prices, is completely irresponsible. Such cold disregard for the need to bring hope to desperate, forgotten dairy farmers is intolerable, particularly since your co-op produces dairy products sold directly to consumers, giving you the clear opportunity to return a greater share of the retail dollar to your farmers. You cannot wash your hands of this terrible financial crisis afflicting your dairy farmer-members by simply giving out phone numbers.
We urge Agri-Mark, Inc., to take that bold stand and publicly declare support for an immediate EMERGENCY floor price of $20 per cwt. for milk used in manufacturing, within 21 days of the date on this letter. This EMERGENCY floor price will allow family farms to stay in business while a real, long-term solution can be found that allows farmers to cover their cost of production with prudent consideration for supply management, to be used if needed.
Farm Women United will hold Agri-Mark, Inc. publicly accountable to act in real support of improved finances for your farmer-members. If you fail to act by the deadline, Farm Women United will initiate an immediate boycott of the Cabot Cheese and Macadam Cheese labels.
Tina Carlin, Communications Director
Farm Women United