Consumers asked to pay more for milk to save farms
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Consumers will pay a little more for coffee and chocolate to ensure the farmers who produce those foods get a fair wage, so why not ask them to pay more for milk?
That's the idea behind a program designed to raise money for struggling New England dairy farms. Keep Local Farms urges colleges, universities and other institutions to charge a little more for milk, with the extra money going to farmers in the region.
It is among a number of nongovernment programs being created to try to preserve small, family-operated farms as consolidation continues in the dairy industry.
The programs borrow from the fair trade movement, in which consumers pay a little bit more for items like chocolate and coffee to provide workers with decent wages and sound environmental practices.