Almond milk's popularity is hurting Georgia dairy farmers

Almond milk popularity hurting dairy farmers

You may be a fan of dairy alternatives like almond milk, but the growing popularity is affecting the dairy farm business in central Georgia. 

Donacin Dairy has been in Benjamin Newberry's family for four generations. 

When they first opened the farm there were 42 other dairies in Bibb County, but now they stand alone. 

"People can't farm the value out of the land as urban development comes closer and closer to the farms, but also the trends in our society," said Newberry.

With almond milk increasing in popularity, he says its sales are affecting his farm.

According to a Texas A&M study, sales of the non-dairy product are now more than $700,000,000 a year.

The more people who consume almond milk or other alternatives -- the less money goes back into the farm. 

Almond milk played a part in why his dairy profits were down last year about $75,000. 

"I watched this year some of my closest friends in the industry go out of business, because of the losses that we've taken," said Newberry. 

But that may become his reality if business doesn't turn around.

He thinks people are buying less milk because its been portrayed as unhealthy due to the fat content.

But Kimberly Lyons, a registered dietitian, believes a big part of it is fear.

Benjamin stands by his product. 

"Our dairy milk is all natural, and those natural ingredients are so much better for us," he said.

Lyons says that almond milk is slightly higher in calcium and lower in fat, but milk is much higher in protein.

Ultimately.. the choice is up to consumers.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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