HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A Hawaiian food supplier has filed a federal lawsuit against Meadow Gold and its partner dairies, claiming they are falsely marketing their continental milk as a local product.
Chad Buck, the head of the Hawaii Foodservice Alliance, said Meadow Gold’s milk is imported from California to Hawaii.
But he says the company’s advertising and labels are misleading, leading consumers to believe they support the local.
“Which would I buy to support the local?” You would probably choose the one that says “Hawaii’s Dairy”. You’d probably pick the one… that says done with aloha, ”Buck said.
He added that Meadow Gold is more expensive than its competitors in Hawaii.
Over the past two decades, Buck says he’s seen a dozen local dairies shut down because they couldn’t compete with mainland operations and prices.
In April 2020, then Texas-based Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold the nostalgic Meadow Gold brand to a Big Island dairy farmer.
The company currently has a processing plant in Hilo and a new facility in Waipahu, but Buck says all of its milk comes from out-of-state.
“It’s not fair to the state. It’s not fair to dairy farmers in this state, ”Buck said.
“And if we ever want to rebuild a sustainable Hawaii, we can’t let mainland agriculture bring its products to Hawaii and pretend they’re local.”
In response to the complaint, Meadow Gold said he “never claimed that all of our milk was local”.
Here is the full statement from Meadow Gold Dairies:
“Former Big Island dairy farmer Bahman Sadeghi took over operations from Meadow Gold Dairies in May 2020 to manage and preserve the legacy of the Meadow Gold brand and has worked diligently to make the operation more sustainable. As Hawaii’s only milk processor, we process 100% of the milk produced in Hawaii and 100% of the milk processed in Hawaii to meet demand from residents of Hawaii that could not possibly be met with local dairy farmers. currently available.
“We have never claimed that all of our milk is local, but we see ourselves as Hawaii’s Dairy because we are committed to Hawaii and its community and will continue to be so as we work to build a more sustainable operation. .
“Plus everything we do is with aloha! It’s part of our corporate culture, and we’re grateful to local dairy farmers past and present who have reached out to us in support of us as we work together to build a more sustainable local food system in Hawaii.
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