I was reading my local newspaper yesterday about how Monsanto is crying foul over the claims of hormone free milk by some producers. Monsanto makes a popular US sold hormone (not allowed in places like
Europe), that allows the cows to produce more milk. They want the label “hormone free” removed from milk cartons claiming it’s not fair or accurate. I think Monsanto is using the law where it can’t actually compete. It’s not the first time they have done this and it’s a bad move on their part.
For the record, I don’t drink milk. Yes, I’m like 1 of a dozen people in the entire US who doesn’t actually drink milk of any kind. I don’t drink cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk, goat milk, almond milk or any other possible kind of milk out there. Not for health reasons, I just can’t stand the taste. So I don’t have a horse in this race, I’m not a consumer of milk. But what struck me is how Monsanto comes off, almost like the class tattle, saying how unfair it is that the other companies are making money.
Essentially what is going on is, consumer tastes are changing, and people don’t want hormones or antibiotics in their food or some other chemicals. They want it as close to natural as possible. That’s the trend. That’s why; all the major supermarkets where I live are falling over each other to have the biggest organic foods selection in the market. That’s why national brands like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have moved in. That’s why the organic coops are expanding; it’s the demand of the consumer who wants these products. If demand wasn’t there, they wouldn’t be doing it! So the dairy farmers, who are producing hormone free milk, are making a lot of money and the farmers, who use the hormones, are not. Monsanto can only make money off the hormone using cows and if you don’t buy those then they can’t profit.
So it seems from my point of view that Monsanto has decided to go the legal route and essentially make it harder for you to tell, which products have the hormones and which do not. Their profits before your consumer choice are essentially what they are saying.
Look, I don’t fault Monsanto for making a profit, that’s the nature of business, but hey Monsanto, this is a dumb move! Let’s look at it, you are saying essentially, you don’t care about the consumer, you only care about your profits and if hiding information from the consuming public is going to help you, then you are all for it. That’s not being competitive, that’s just damn lazy and stupid! For a company that needs consumer trust, you have done a great job of creating a lot of mistrust in the milk consuming population. Part of your uproar over this has actually caused people to change to hormone free milk because they wonder what you are trying to hide. You’ve killed your profits more than any competitor has.
If Monsanto really wanted to compete, it needs to make products that the end users (those who consume milk) actually want in their milk. More information, not less. Better products that provide the consumer with what they want, not forcing what you made on them like or not!
What Monsanto had done is provide a great example of bad PR and bad business. What seemed like a good idea for preserving profits is back firing. Do a search on hormone free milk and you will see a lot of direct and indirect Monsanto bashing going on out there on the web. If Monsanto had instead, looked to be more consumer friendly and give people what their changing tastes want, this could have been avoided.