Proposed lawsuit targets Tillamook marketing practices

PORTLAND, Ore. – A proposed lawsuit alleges Tillamook Dairy is misleading consumers about the source of its product.

OPB reports the Animal Legal Defense Fund is accusing Tillamook County Creamery of deceptive marketing practices. Specifically, the animal rights group said Tillamook is actively causing confusion about the source of the company’s dairy products.

A complaint filed in Multnomah County says Tillamook convinced consumers that the cows providing milk for the dairy company are sourced from small family farms in Tillamook County. This is false, according to the complaint. The proposed lawsuit says the majority of Tillamook’s milk comes from a single facility in eastern Oregon, which “is a far cry from the rolling green hills of the Tillamook County family farms shows throughout Tillamook’s marketing campaign.”

According to, there are about 80 dairy farmer-owners in their co-op.  The company acknowledges there are “a number of contract farms and co-ops outside of Tillamook County providing us with high-quality milk.” A map accompanying the previous quote was locked into a view of only Tillamook County.

An article published in the East Oregonian states Columbia River Diary—Oregon’s largest dairy, located in Boardman along the Columbia River—supplies Tillamook by shipping milk to a cheese-making plant at nearby Port of Morrow. The article did not specify what percentage of Columbia River Dairy milk goes directly to the nearby plant.

The proposed lawsuit also brings concerns about the large dairy operation in Boardman, which contradicts alleged marketing on behalf of Tillamook that is said to tout the company’s assertion that products are sourced from smaller, pasture-based dairies in Tillamook County. Not large, industrial dairies like Columbia River Diary.

Amanda Howell, a staff attorney at the legal defense fund assisting in the proposed lawsuit, told OPB they’re seeking an injunction that will force Tillamook to change their marketing practices. An allowance for damages may be added in a future amendment.

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