Aurora Factory Farm Operations Archive

Largest Organic Factory Farm Operator Once Again Accused of Illegal Activity

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Family Dairy Farmers Appeal to Obama Administration for Swift Enforcement

WASHINGTON, DC: Aurora Dairy, based in Boulder, Colorado, the nation’s largest organic dairy producer, is once again facing allegations of improprieties. Aurora had previously been found in “willful” violation of multiple federal organic standards by USDA investigators in 2007.

This week an organic industry watchdog, The Cornucopia Institute, filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA in Washington alleging that one of the five industrial-scale dairies operated by Aurora, its High Plains dairy near Kersey, Colorado, is failing to graze their dairy cattle as required by the federal organic standards. Read Full Article »

Aurora Dairy Exemption from Check-off Program Challenged

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

USDA should demand retroactive payment from faux organic milk producers

Cornucopia, WI “The Cornucopia Institute has sent a formal request to the Chief of the USDA’s Dairy Promotion and Research Program, requesting that the program collect almost three years’ worth of unpaid dairy promotion “check-off” assessments from the Colorado-based Aurora Dairy.

Since February 2005, the USDA has exempted organic dairy producers from paying the 15 cents per hundredweight assessment that it requires of all conventional dairy producers. Aurora initially claimed the organic exemption, but following a comprehensive investigation of improprieties, the USDA’s national organic program found that its milk did not qualify as organic.

The exemption rule states that a producer must not only be certified organic, but must also “handle or market only products that are eligible for a 100 percent organic product label under the NOP as described in 7 CFR part 205.” Read Full Article »

Organic Dairy Allowed to Continue Operations Near Gill Until Hearing in August

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

The Greeley Tribune
Andrew Villegas

Aurora Organic Dairy near Gill will be allowed to continue operations despite a substantial fly problem bothering neighbors.

The Board of Weld County Commissioners decided on a split vote Wednesday to continue a hearing until August 2008 that could revoke the dairy’s special permit to operate the dairy with 4,500 cows.

Of central concern to dairy neighbors is a substantial fly problem that they say has inundated their properties and homes. Commissioners are giving the dairy until August to absolve the pest situation. Read Full Article »

Huge Dairy Doesn’t Fit Organic Image

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Aurora operation foes say farm pays lip service to ideal

Rocky Mountain News
By Joyzelle Davis

PLATTEVILLE, CO – Not far from the truck stops that mark the I-25 turnoff to Longmont, Colorado’s largest organic dairy spreads across 500 acres.

Some of the farm’s 1,075 black-and- white Holsteins amble across a pasture while others in open-air paddocks chew on a moist mixture that includes alfalfa hay, soy hulls and mineral supplements. Throughout the day, semi- trucks shuttle into a state-of-the-art plant where the milk is pasteurized, packaged and prepared to be sent to Wal-Marts and other supermarkets across the country.

Aurora Organic Dairy’s sprawling Platteville farm – one of five the company operates – might not be quite the bucolic image of a family farm that shoppers envision as they pay sometimes twice as much for organic milk. Read Full Article »

An Organic Milk War Turns Sour

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Now that his dairy company has settled charges that it violated organic food standards, Aurora president Mark Retzloff wants to muzzle foes. Fortune’s Marc Gunther reports.

Fortune (this link no longer available)
By Marc Gunther, Fortune senior writer

(Fortune) — Mark Retzloff, a pioneer of the $16.7 billion organic food industry and president of Aurora Organic Dairy, lobbied for years for strict government regulation of organics. He got what he wanted – and then some.

Two months after Aurora, a Colorado-based company that makes store-brand organic milk for big retailers like Wal-Mart, Costco, Target and Safeway, settled U.S. Department of Agriculture allegations that its milk didn’t meet national organic standards, the war of words between Retzloff and his foes shows no sign of abating.

Retzloff is threatening to sue critics who claim that Aurora committed consumer fraud. Read Full Article »