From undercover investigations to incredible new plant-based products, 2019 has not been a good year for the dairy industry. Here are five things the dairy industry should be worried about:
1. ARM Released the Largest Dairy Investigation in the United States
Animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission released not one but four undercover investigations as part of “the largest dairy investigation ever executed within the United States.” Documenting abuses at Fair Oaks Farms, Natural Prairie Dairy, and Strauss Veal Feeds, investigators found cows and calves being beaten, neglected, and kept in terrible conditions. The investigator described what he saw at Fair Oaks as “by far the worst abuse to baby animals” that he had seen “in any investigation in the world.”
2. Angry Customers Filed Lawsuits Against Milk Company Fairlife
After the first investigation of Fair Oaks Farms, which supplies dairy brand Fairlife, customers were livid. Fair Oaks Farms claims that its facilities follow rigorous humane protocols to guarantee “extraordinary care and comfort” for the cows. These claims led dairy consumers to file four federal class actions (so far!) against Fairlife. In these complaints, customers expressed their rage at being misled, including a claim that Fairlife participated in “massive consumer fraud.”
3. Milk Sales Are Going Through a Decades-Long Decline
In Wisconsin, declining dairy sales and low milk prices are leading to bankruptcies, and dairy farmers are leaving the industry at a rate of three a day.
But some companies have embraced change. After suffering a 91 percent drop in net profits, Dean Foods invested for a minority stake in flax-based vegan brand Good Karma Foods. Danone recently acquired WhiteWave Foods, parent company of plant-based brands Silk and So Delicious. And in 2017, Elmhurst Dairy, one of the oldest and largest dairy companies in the United States, switched from cow’s milk to 100 percent plant-based milk.
4. Desserts, Coffee Drinks, and Yogurt Are Going Dairy-Free
Top ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins launched two dairy-free flavors—Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Extreme—made with coconut oil and almond butter. U.K. grocery chain Tesco began offering Nescafé Gold dairy-free instant lattes, available in oat, almond, and coconut. And companies large and small, including Yooga, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, are making their own varieties of vegan yogurt.
5. A Silicon Valley Startup Launched Real Dairy Ice Cream Made Without Cows
Silicon Valley technology startup Perfect Day has created a first-of-its-kind vegan-friendly ice cream that is made with real cow’s-milk proteins (casein and whey) that do not come from actual cows! On its website the innovative company explains that its products are real dairy made without factory farms, hormones, lactose, or cows—and they have a smaller ecological footprint.
You can help solve the problem of Big Dairy by choosing plant-based milk, ice cream, cheese, and other products. Join the growing number of people enjoying vegan dairy by ordering your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today!