Horizon Organic

Horizon Organic

Horizon Organic founded in 1991, is a certified dairy, distributing organic food products throughout the United States. Horizon Organic is owned by Dean Foods and distributed by White Wave Foods.

Current status

It is the largest supplier of organic milk in North America, sold by vendors including Starbucks and Wal-Mart. Horizon produces some organic milk itself on a 4,000-cow dairy in Idaho and a 500-cow dairy in Maryland, and also purchases organic milk from many smaller dairies. Prior to being acquired by Dean Foods, Horizon was an independent public company and had acquired two other organic dairy brands: Juniper Valley Farms and The Organic Cow of Vermont. Horizon Organic's products are produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, or pesticides. They are, however, generally UHT-pasteurized, frequently to (or near) the point of shelf-stability.


In 2006, the Organic Consumers Association called for a boycott of Horizon Organic (and Aurora Organic Dairy), charging that the company is not following true organic standards.Lorraine Heller [http://www.dairyreporter.com/news/ng.asp?n=69952-horizon-dean-foods-organic-dairy-organic-standards Horizon dairy targeted for lacking organic practices] . "Dairy Reporter/Food Navigator", 18 August 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006] Andrew Martin [http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0608200391aug20,1,4196286.story?coll=chi-news-hed Organic*] . "Chicago Tribune", 20 August 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006.] In August, 2006, the Cornucopia Institute filed a complaint with the USDA alleging that Horizon violates National Organic Program standards about the number of days cows should spend in pasture.Mark Chediak [http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/orl-organic1706aug17,0,278206.story?coll=orl-business-headlines Suppliers of organic milk draw criticism] . "Orlando Sentinel", 17 August 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006.] Chris Guy [http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.organic28aug28,0,5745460.story?coll=bal-home-headlines Shore farm accused of skirting standards] . "Baltimore Sun", 28 August 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006.] The boycott has resulted in the nation's largest natural foods cooperative, PCC Natural Markets in Seattle, deciding to stop carrying Horizon Organic products.Melissa Allison [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2003190574_dairy11.html PCC says Horizon milk will be pulled] . "Seattle Times", 11 August 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006.] Karen Robinson-Jacobs [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/082006dnbusorganicsbiz.33953c1.html Big retailers want piece of organic pie] . "The Dallas Morning News", 19 August 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2006.]

In March 2007, Horizon Organic published its "Standards of Care," a set of guidelines that govern how the company runs its company-owned farms to educate the public about its organic dairy process. Besides alleging compliance with the USDA requirements for organic certification, these “Standards of Care” aspire to the next level of organic stewardship. In developing the standards, the company collaborated with third party experts, including Dr. Hubert Karreman with Penn Dutch Cow Care, a specialist in natural and homeopathic veterinary medicine, and with Shannon Horst with Holistic Management International, an authority on sustainable pasture management.


External links

* [http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm USDA The National Organic Program]
* [http://ofrf.org/index.html Organic Farming Research Foundation]
* [http://www.organic-center.org/ The Organic Center]
* [http://www.holisticmanagement.org/ Holistic Management International]
* [http://www.horizonorganic.com/ourfarms/StandardsOfCare.pdf Horizon Organic Standards of Care Document]
* [http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/FarmID_134.html Cornucopia Institute organic dairy products survey]
* [http://cornucopia.org/index.php/horizon-factory-farm-photo-gallery A real photo gallery of Horizon's farm]
* [http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2006/04/organic_milk.html Organic Milk Goes Corporate] , "Mother Jones", April 26, 2006
* [http://www.nodpa.com Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA)]

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