Posted on February 11, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

Update: Aurora Organic denies being customer of big organic dairy up for sale

Kroger, Aurora Organic, Horizon Organic, H-E-B, and Danone among Nature's Way customers

Aurora Organic Dairy, the leading U.S. producer of private-label and store-brand organic milk, told Sustainable Food News Wednesday that it is not a customer of Nature’s Way Dairy LLC (NWD), a major organic dairy up for sale.

Portales, N.M.-based NWD went on the selling block after the Superior Court of Arizona placed its assets into receivership.

Caprock Farm and Ranch Realty are marketing the sale of NWD “as is, where is” in an offering memorandum after being engaged by a court appointed receiver following the Superior Court case being filed on Jan. 13 by Great Western Bank (Case No.: CV2020-000737.)

Caprock released an offering memorandum listing NWD’s assets and describing the operation as “a 3,500 head organic dairy that has two milking parlors, 1,200 acres of organic certified pasture, 2,500 acres of rangeland and a 1,500 head heifer facility located in Sulphur Springs, Texas.”

The offering memorandum shows a map of its customers around the country and includes Aurora’s logo. (See list of NWD’s customers below).

But Aurora’s spokesperson told SFN that they are following up with the attorneys for the dairy for sale in Texas to correct the misinformation in the offering memorandum.

“In their materials, they probably included any facility they have shipped milk to, and – with Horizon as a customer – we have co-packed for Horizon at our Platteville [Colorado] plant in the past, so that’s probably why we are listed. However, we have never purchased milk for our customers from Nature’s Way Dairy,” the spokesperson said.

NWD maintains current organic certificates issued in 2015 for crops and livestock from Oregon Tilth.

The company also maintains organic certificates from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program issued in 2014 for cropslivestock; and bulk raw dairy.

The offering also said NWD maintains Validus certification for animal welfare as well as Non-GMO Verified from the Non-GMO Project. NWD is also currently in the process of obtaining B Corp. certification.

“The offering includes, but is not limited to, the cow and heifer herd, equipment, feed inventory, pasture inventory, and other assets utilized in the ongoing operations of NWD,” the offering said, adding that indications of interest are due by Feb. 26.

The offering’s specifics on herd inventory include 3,593 mature milking and dry cows, 2,268 heifers and 13 bulls.

The specifics on acreage include: 4,711 total acres of contiguous land; 2,060 acres make up the two dairy sites (1,200 acres of which are under center pivot irrigation) and the remaining 2,651 acres are in excess land in native pastureland.

NWD’s customers

The offering said NWD’s customers include:

  • Horizon Organic
  • Danone
  • Kroger
  • Kalona Creamery
  • Supermarket chain H-E-B
  • Milk Specialties
  • Agropur
  • Saputo
  • Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
  • Baker Cheese
  • Lone Star Dairy Products
  • Hilmar Cheese Co.
  • Shamrock Farms
  • Meadow Gold
  • Bluegrass Dairy and Food, Inc.
  • Algonquin Provincial Park
  • Adirondack
  • SmithFoods

NWD feed suppliers

The offering said NWD sources multiple commodities for its feed supplies, including organic alfalfa, organic barley and barley straw, organic corn and corn silage, organic soybean meal, organic wheat silage, organic earlage, organic oat hay, minerals, organic calf feed, and organic heifer grow pellet.

Top feed products, ranked by total dollars (Jan 1, 2019-Jan 31, 2020)

“This asset offering represents a turn-key opportunity for a premier efficient, modern, sustainable dairy operation certified for organic production in the Southwest United States,” the memorandum read.

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