MISSISSAUGA — Four new dairy farmers are gearing up to ship organic milk in a bid by the provincial marketing board to shore up still-growing demand.
Estimating demand at 30 per cent higher than available supply, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) gave priority access to four wannabe organic farmers in its new entrant quota assistance program.
Each farmer will have priority access to buy between 12 and 16 kilograms of quota on the exchange by the end of next year, which the DFO will match with a quota loan. The loan is repaid gradually after 10 years with a maximum take-back of one kilogram per year.
Farmers will have 16 months from the time they start shipping to transition to organic.
A possible boost in organic supply may be welcome news to Organic Meadow. The Guelph-based organic co-op and processor filed for creditor protection in April, citing, in part, lost revenue due to a milk shortage. Its unsecured creditors approved a debt repayment proposal last month.
While four organic producers have been chosen, with 112 kilograms of quota set aside for the loan program, there are still three to five spots up for grabs.
The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. For details and an application, visit www.milk.org.