Just last year, the Dill Pickle Food Co-op in Chicago started selling out of glass-bottled organic milk within two days of receiving it.

“I’ll have people call up and say, hey, I know the truck’s coming on Tuesday, can you put aside three half-gallons?” Dana Bates-Norden, who works as the buyer of perishable goods for the store, tells Bloomberg Business.

Americans spent $5.1 billion dollars on organic dairy in 2014. That number is more than double what it was a decade earlier, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the modern GMO-and-pesticide hating world, (almost) the majority of consumers choose organic when grocery shopping. Bloomberg reports that about 45 percent of Americans seek out organic foods.

Meanwhile, major retailers have gotten in on the organic dairy game. McDonald’s now uses organic milk in some of its McCafe coffee drinks, and retailers like Wal-Mart are trying to attract more organic food shoppers by selling organic dairy products.

About the inescapable realness of the organic milk shortage, Bloomberg writes,

Even in Wisconsin, the state with the most organic dairies, stores are posting signs warning of shortages, the USDA has said. At Fresh Madison Market in the state’s capital city of Madison, sales of the milk have doubled over the past year and rising demand spurred a 10-day shortage in early January, owner Jeff Maurer said by telephone Feb. 9.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets had shortages of organic milk in 149 of its midwest stores in 2014. 

We know there’s demand for organic dairy—so what’s holding up farms from switching to organic dairy production? Turning a regular dairy farm into one that can get certified organic is lengthy and pricey. Bloomberg explains,

Under current USDA regulations, the process can take three years as farmers convert the pastureland and feed crops. In the third transition year, farmers have to feed their animals organic-only feed, which can increase costs by about $365,000 at a 500-cow dairy.

But one company is helping out: Organic Valley, the largest cooperative of organic farmers in the U.S., pays part of the cost for dairies to make the conversion over to organic. In an effort to encourage farms to switch over, the coop this year increased that compensation by 75 percent.

[via Bloomberg Business]