Thursday, June 28, 2007

Big Decertified Dairy Pulls Out of Organic

The Case Vander Eyk Dairy, which reportedly said it was seeking recertification of its 3,500 head organic herd, has decided not to pursue it after all.

The controversial dairy in the Central Valley of California had been certified by Quality Assurance International, but QAI suspended the company's organic dairy operations in May for failing to meet regulatory standards. The dairy then approached California Certified Organic Farmers about beginning the recertification process.

Peggy Miars, executive director of CCOF, one of the oldest organic certification agencies in the nation, said in an email the dairy was in "the initial review stage" for recertification. "Obviously, CCOF holds all applicants to the same strict standards and would ensure that all previous noncompliance issues are resolved."

"However, that seems to be a moot point based on my conversation with our contact at Vander Eyk," Miars continued. "He said that the Vander Eyk family is pulling out of the organic dairy business indefinitely."