Fairlife milk

Courtesy photo

Fair Oaks Farms is the flagship farm for Fairlife, a national brand of higher protein, higher calcium and lower fat milk that’s produced at a network of dairy farms and distributed by Coca-Cola.

NEWTON COUNTY — Several major grocers and retailers announced they are pulling Fair Oaks Farms products from its store shelves following a recently released video, done by an organization that infiltrated the company for months, that shows blatant animal abuse.

Strack & Van Til, Jewel-Osco and Family Express announced Wednesday that they will no longer carry products from Fair Oaks Farms.

"With recent events involving Fair Oaks Farms, Strack & Van Til will be removing all Fair Oaks and related products until further notice," said Strack's CEO, Jeff Strack via a statement. "We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

Jewel-Osco, one of the region's biggest grocers, also pulled the products from its shelves and released a statement Wednesday.

"At Jewel-Osco we strive to maintain high animal welfare standards across all areas of business, and work in partnership with our vendors to ensure those standards are upheld," said the company in the news release. "

Family Express president and CEO Gus Olympidis said his company has suspended pending orders of Fairlife products based on the public response of the graphic video.

"The exposé of animal abuse in the Fair Oaks Farm network is chilling," he said. "A factor in our decision was the public response by Fair Oaks, asserting the notion that this was an isolated incident. This is hardly the response you would expect from an organization that gets it. The minimizing of the graphic animal cruelty offers little assurance of change in a culture that is likely in need of fundamental retooling."

Family Express stated they will replace Fairlife products with milk products from Organic Valley, which has 143 family farms in Indiana. Its headquarters is in LaFarge, Wis.

Fair Oaks Farms is the flagship farm for Fairlife, a national brand of higher protein, calcium and lower fat milk that's produced at a network of dairy farms and distributed by Coca-Cola.

While Strack & Van Til, Jewel-Osco and Family Express have distanced themselves from Fair Oaks Farms, Coca-Cola is not. Coca-Cola released a statement Wednesday that it plans to stick with Fair Oaks Farms and Fairlife.

"Coca-Cola takes animal welfare seriously and expects suppliers to operate with the highest degree of integrity and comply with all laws, including animal welfare laws," stated the release. "We have been in contact with Fairlife about this situation and have full confidence in their management team to urgently address this issue with Fair Oaks Farms, which is a third-party supplier to Fairlife. They recognize the seriousness of this situation as their founding principles are grounded in a strong commitment to sustainability, transparency and the highest standards of animal welfare.

"Fair Oaks Farms notified Fairlife that they immediately isolated dairy supply from the dairy identified in the video to suspend all sourcing from that location. We fully support and respect the proactive approach that Fairlife and Fair Oaks Farms have taken and we continue to stay in contact with them to lend any support they need."