Montana Producers Say Organic Beef Sales Dropping

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – Officials with the Montana Organic Producers Cooperative say the state’s organic beef growers had a rough year in 2009.

Mark Smith, the cooperative’s administrator and a Lavina rancher, says sales of organic beef were down 47 percent compared to the previous year. He says two factors contributed to the drop — the grocery store chain Whole Foods Market changed buyers, purchasing only 20 percent of what it had been buying from the Montana co-op, and consumers bought less organic beef as they looked for ways to stretch their budgets.

Smith says the cooperative has reached a new deal with Whole Foods Market and expects to ship more beef to the chain soon.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.