One of the oldest and largest dairy companies in the United States, Borden Dairy has filed for bankruptcy. With a history dating back to before the American Civil War, Borden says it has been hurt by the staggering drop in consumption of cow’s milk.
As people become more aware of the negative health and environmental effects of dairy, they’re consuming less cow’s milk and turning instead to all the delicious plant-based milk on the market. As a result, the number of producers of cow’s milk is dwindling, increasing the wholesale cost of cow’s milk. Last year, more than 2,700 dairy farms went out of business, and since 1992, 94,000 dairy farms have stopped producing milk. Borden Dairy CEO Tony Sarsam said in a statement:
Despite our numerous achievements during the past 18 months, the company continues to be impacted by the rising cost of raw milk and market challenges facing the dairy industry.
Borden isn’t the first major dairy company to fall on hard times. In November 2019, Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Owner of familiar dairy brands Dairy Pure, Organic Valley, and Land O’Lakes, the 94-year-old company and largest milk producer in America blamed the “accelerated decline in the conventional white milk category.”
While Borden and Dean Foods struggle against the country’s shift away from dairy, other companies are adapting. Known as the “oldest dairy west of the Rockies,” Giacomazzi Dairy recently sold the last of its cows to focus on growing almonds. Manager Dino Giacomazzi said in an interview:
Our facility is very old and inefficient to operate so we had to make a decision about investing in upgrading the facility and doubling the size of the milk cow herd or doing something else, and basically, we decided we were going to invest in our land and plant more almond trees and just continue farming without the cows.
Cows used for dairy are treated like mere milk-producing machines—constantly cycling through pregnancy, birth, and milking until their bodies give out or their milk production is no longer profitable. Help the world move further away from this cruel industry by choosing more plant-based foods! Get recipes, tips, and more in our FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide.