Patience is a virtue definitely held by the members of the East Coast Organic Milk Co-operative. It's been over seven years, and a ton of hard work, since a bright-white idea cropped up among a small group of green-minded farmers who saw a void and knew just how to fill it.
"They realized that there was this opportunity to produce organic milk," says Heather MacKenzie, the co-op's coordinator. "You could buy it here, but it was all coming from out of province."
With local on the brain, so began the journey for four dairy producers, a retired organic farmer and Just Us! Coffee Roasters, a group otherwise known as the East Coast Organic Milk Co-operative.
Before the product could make its way to shelves and glasses across the province the co-op worked through a laundry list of to dos, which included amending dairy regulations, finding someone to process and package the milk (that'd be the Yarmouth-based Cook's Dairy) and the creation of a solid brand. Also during this time Cook's and two of the co-op members' farms---Knoydart Farm in Antigonish and Dellside Farm in Port Hood---were granted organic certification; the other two, Blois Family Farm and Parkside Farm, are still in the the transition phase of the switch-over.
Now East Coast Organic Milk, in one percent, two percent and whole varieties, is available at nearly 100 locations province-wide, a number that seems to be growing at a rapid pace. MacKenzie says that blend cream, chocolate milk and yogurt are on the horizon and we say, drink up.
Find East Coast Organic in the HRM
Halifax Seaport Market 1209 Marginal Road
East Coast Family Market 1149 Marginal Road
Just Us! Coffeehouses 1678 Barrington Street 5896 Spring Garden Road
Planet Organic 6485 Quinpool Road
Pete's 1595 Bedford Highway 1515 Dresden Row
Local Source Catering 5783 Charles Street
RSD & Jo's Country Market 1823 St. Margarets Bay Road
Edible Matters 1345 Hammonds Plains Road
Fruit & Vegetable Mart 2900 Hwy # 2, Fall River
Elmsdale Shopping Centre
First Lake Drive
Forest Hills Drive
Hammonds Plains Road
Herring Cove Road
West End Mall
Chain Lake Drive
Cole Harbour Road
Joseph Howe Drive
Lower Sackville Drive