The Cornucopia Institute is calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to act and enforce our country’s antitrust laws against the largest dairy processor/marketer in the world, France’s Groupe Danone (The Dannon Company in the US). Danone is seeking to acquire WhiteWave Foods. WhiteWave Foods (a former division of Dean Foods) owns the Horizon Organic brand and Wallaby organic yogurt brand. Combined with Dannon’s control of the Stonyfield yogurt and milk brands, this merger would give Dannon (Danone) an unprecedented share of the organic dairy market in the United States.
The free and competitive market will be impacted by this acquisition, likely leading to rising costs for consumers. With the majority of the branded organic dairy market being controlled by one mega-corporation, the livelihoods of organic family dairy farmers would be threatened as well as the survival of small ethical independent yogurt brands who already face tight financial conditions.
Furthermore, the current dependence of the Horizon brand on large, industrial-scale factory dairies could competitively injure family farmers currently shipping to Stonyfield.
Please add your name to the petition below to let the DOJ and FTC know that Dannon (Danone) acquiring WhiteWave foods will create an anti-competitive market for organic dairy that will hurt both farmers and consumers.
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20530
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the DOJ and FTC take immediate action to scrutinize the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods by The Dannon Company (Groupe Danone).
The market for organic dairy is already constrained to a few big players, making it susceptible to anti-competitive practices such as price fixing and monopolization. Consumers and farmers are put at risk when one interest controls so much of the market.
We are concerned that this acquisition will allow Dannon to control the organic dairy market. Dannon already owns Stonyfield, touted as the largest selling organic dairy brand in the world. In addition, Organic Valley (the only viable national market competitor for Dannon if this acquisition is allowed to proceed), will be affected directly because they supply milk to the Stonyfield brand.
Dairy products are a gateway for many consumers into the organic market. Evidence is building that organic food – particularly organic dairy products – are healthier and better for the environment. Consumers are willing to pay into the market because of these perceived benefits. Organic dairies also provide a refuge for farmers who could otherwise not compete in the industrialized dairy market, allowing them to produce a product consumers’ want while still making a living.
With these unique factors, the market for organic dairy products should be considered separately from other agricultural and food markets Dannon will obtain via the WhiteWave acquisition.
We respectfully ask that you take immediate action to scrutinize the effect the Dannon buyout of WhiteWave will have in the organic dairy market and act to protect consumers and the market in general from anticompetitive threats.
[Your name, city and state — listed here along with other citizens who signed the petition]