Boycott Tillamook Cheese
Tillamook Creamery Assoc. recently let go "without cause" one of it's highest quality milk producers - Xavier Avila, who coincidentally had blocked one of Tillamook's inspector's from harrassing fellow dairy farmer Liz Classen. Classen had already been repeatedly sexually harassed by this perverted inspector to the point where she had a restraining order against him....
I've lived in Oregon all my life and have eaten uncountable pounds of Tillamook Cheese and Ice cream. But no more - not until Tillamook Creamery assoc. reverses it's decision to uncerimoniously dump Xavier Avila from it's Co-op, forcing him and his family out of Tillamook - and why? Not because of the quality of his milk - he's consistently been at or near the top (of 130 dairy farms in the co-op) for his quality milk. No, they're dumping him "without cause" because he was trying to defend fellow dairy farmer Liz Classen from being sexually harassed by Tillamook Creamery Inspector/Pervert Bryan Gibson, whom Classen already had a stalking order against.
apparently, Tillamook Cheese's board doesn't know it's own mission as stated on it's website:
"Tillamook cheese is made by a 99-year old farmer-owned cooperative committed to the core values of quality, cooperation, integrity, stewardship and customer responsiveness handed down by our founders nearly a century ago."
We treat our employees, customers, suppliers and communities with respect. We work together to achieve our mission, and we strive to partner with those who share our principles.
We are honest in our dealings and require all those associated with us to maintain the highest ethical standards. We don't cut corners. We are committed to doing what's right."
Please read the full story, then take a minute to let Tillamook Creamery know what you think at the comments section of their website: http://www.tillamookcheese.com/contactus.aspx
Or call Tillamook Creamery directly: 503-842-4481
See News video and read full story here: http://www.katu.com/news/specialreports/19226674.html
Tillamook dairy farmer claims 'good 'ol boy's club' is forcing him out of business
May 24, 2008 at 7:40 PM PDT
By Anna Song
TILLAMOOK COUNTY - Making a living as a Tillamook dairy farmer is hard enough but it's even harder if the creamery decides to reject your milk.
That is the situation that Xavier Avila is in, along with his wife and six children.
Every day, for months, they have had to dump 11,000 pounds of milk - the equivalent of 1,000 one-gallon containers.
It would have been one thing if the creamery had a problem with the quality of Avilas' milk but it didn't seem to. Month after month, the creamery named the family's dairy a top producer in terms of milk purity.
Avila is convinced it was his efforts to defend a fellow farmer, Liz Classen, against what he calls the 'good ol' boys club' that prompted the creamery to cancel his milk agreement and kick him out of the co-op without cause.
"I was told by several farmers, you should have just looked the other way," he said. "I just couldn't do that. How can you look away when you know somebody's out to hurt somebody."
Liz Classen claims that in 2001, Bryan Gibson, a field inspector for the Tillamook Creamery Board, came out to her dairy farm in Tillamook and came on to her in the milkhouse.
"He kind of put his arms around me," she said. "He was going to kiss me and I just pushed him off and said 'that's enough.'"
Classen said the unwanted advances continued, so she filed a stalking order against Gibson, saying that "on farm visits, his conversations always were of sexual nature" and "he always made me know he was in control."
Classen told Avila about the matter. On a day after the devastating December floods, Avila blocked the road to her farm as Gibson tried to go down it.
"I told him to get lost," said Avila. "I ran him off. They had a special meeting and questioned what happened. And I told them and the next day we got a letter saying 60-day notice without cause to leave."
With no income, their health insurance canceled, and with no way to pay their lease, the Avilas are about to lose their farm.
KATU News was repeatedly turned down for on-camera interviews with members of the Tillamook Creamery Board so we went in person to the board's headquarters and spoke with
When we asked whether Avila got kicked out of the co-op because he was trying to defend Liz Classen, Wustenberg said, "That is a matter between Mr. Avila and the board. There really was no issue with the quality of the milk he shipped." When we pushed him about why Avila's milk agreement was terminated, he said "Again Anna, that's an internal matter."
Wustenberg insisted the board is not trying to hide anything. He said what happened to Avila is rare and he assured us the creamery runs a professional business with a brand to protect.
Avila is not comforted by those words.
"They figured if they shut me up and make an example out of me, then they'd shut everybody else up and go back to the Tillamook way," he said.
KATU News began this investigation back in December of 2007.
Since then, Liz Classen has reached an out-of-court settlement regarding her complaint against Gibson, prompting her to drop the stalking matter. The settlement amount is not being disclosed.
Xavier Avila is currently looking for a dairy farm in California and plans on moving his family there.
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