A coalition of 13 area school districts, including Greendale, will receive milk from Prairie Farms Dairy, a change that was necessary after Golden Guernsey shut down in early January in Waukesha.
The decision was made based on several criteria, including a blind-taste test, according to a news release from the Southeast Wisconsin School Nutrition Cooperative.
Prairie Farms won the contract despite being the highest bidder, according to a Journal Sentinel report. However, the company topped other dairies in bidding because of its high marks for taste, service, packaging and product availability, Greendale's Director of Business Services Erin Green said.
"Health and wellness is a priority in Greendale schools," she said. "Our food service directors are very concerned that students drink adequate milk and get the calcium their growing bodies need."
In Menomonee Falls, milk consumption decreased by more than 5,000 cartons from January 2012 to 2013. The students complained about taste, and preferred juice instead, according to a news release from the district.
"Kids complained about the flavor and to do what's best for kids you need to weigh quality with price," said Jeff Gross, director of business services for the Menomonee Falls School District. "You always go for the best quality with the most effective price."
Area school districts do not fund school lunch and milk programs through local property taxes, but receive federal funding for the programs.
Schools had to find other options when Golden Guernsey abruptly closed in early January, without notice to its 100-plus workers who were frustrated following the closing. While OpenGate Capital, a California-based investment firm that owns the company, filed for bankruptcy, an Ohio dairy has offered to purchase Golden Guernsey for $5.5 million.
The company started in 1930 as a farmer-owned cooperative in Milwaukee, and by 1935, Golden Guernsey delivered milk to the homes of 20,000 customers in Wisconsin, according to its website. By 1955 construction began at its current facility at 2101 Delafield St.
Dean Foods was ordered to sell the plant by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in order to settle an antitrust lawsuit because Dean Foods owned about 60 percent of milk processing plants in the state. an investment firm that planned to continue operations of the dairy processing facility.