Thursday, September 24, 2009

No Goat Cheese at the 441 Farmers Market?!

Okay, remember how I was all about Glades Ridge Dairy and their delicious cheese-of-goats? Well, something terrible has happened! They were told by the head of the Alachua County Farmers Market, Helen Emery, told them last week that they were suspended from the farmers market until the board of directors could reach a decision about whether they could continue to sell their products at the farmers market. I am including the text of Joe Pietrangelo's letter that was sent to their email list, and also was included as a comment in the original post about Glades Ridge.

I would just like to say that I am shocked that they would be treated like this, and have emailed Helen Emery to voice my concerns. You can do the same by emailing Helen Emery, or the 441 market manager, Jared Sweat, and let them know that you think Glades Ridge Dairy should be allowed to sell their products at the 441 farmers market.

Here's the text of Joe's letter:

Joe nubians@gladesridge.com

Dear Friends:



The reason that I’m sending you this email is to let you all know why Glades Ridge Dairy is not at the Alachua County Farmers Market.



Yesterday I received a call from Helen Emery, the president of the Board of the Alachua County Farmers Market. Helen informed me that we were suspended from selling our milk and cheese until the next Board meeting in October, when it will be decided whether or not to suspend us permanently. The reasoning behind this decision was not because anything bad had occurred, and is as follows – we are selling unpasteurized dairy products and the Board fears that, if anyone became ill from eating our products, they would be liable and sued. Helen told me that they had consulted with a number of attorneys and other scientific experts. The conclusion of these experts was that the sale of our dairy products at the Alachua County Farmer’s Market was a liability due to the inherent dangers of raw milk, and because our customers may not be fully aware of or educated about what they were purchasing. [Note that we are in full compliance with all Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulations and possess a fully executed permit to sell raw milk/dairy as long as it is properly labeled.]

We sincerely hope to be back at the Alachua County Farmers Market soon. Until then, our products are available for pick-up from the farm. We are located north on SR 121 to Worthington Springs, and then about five miles west on CR 18. If you’d like to pick up at the farm, call me at 386-266-7041 for directions and to arrange a pick-up time. I’ll be glad to introduce you to the dairy herd too, and you can also see first-hand where the does are milked and cheese is produced. We are committed to producing quality products for you, and want you all to know that we will do everything that we can to be back at space #20 selling milk, cheese and eggs as soon as possible. If you go to the market and are so inclined, let the market manager, Jared Sweat and any of the board that happen to be there, know what you think. Your support is vital to helping us resolve this. You can also contact the market via email: Jared Sweat’s email is marketmanager@441market.com and Helen Emery’s is hme@441market.com



Thanks very much, and we hope to see you soon.



Joe Pietrangelo for Glades Ridge Dairy

Joe Pietrangelo and Greg Yurish, owners/operators
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