Hamilton farmer warns that just because its 'organic,' doesn't mean its a healthy business

Dozens of customers who placed orders with an organic meat farm in the Hamilton area are crying foul after the business suddenly called it quits.

Middletown Farms of Dundas shut down operations last week, to the surprise of many of its clients.

Some of them allege they're out hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars in deposits for orders of meat that never arrived.

Look up Middletown online, and you'll find no shortage of scathing reviews on websites including the Kitchener-Waterloo section of the Better Business Bureau.

Customers have complained about late orders, poor customer service, and products that never showed up.

There are some cases where meat was paid for in full months in advance.

Attempts by NEWSTALK 1010 to reach Middletown owner Brandon Graham were unsuccessful.

The business phone line has been disconnected, and the company's website and Facebook page has been taken down.

Graham told CHCH News he's in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, and is working to cancel orders and refund customers.

A Moore in the Morning listener reached out to us to say that this story should serve as a cautionary tale.

Mark Veenstra co-owns and operates The Chick & Boar Veenstra Family Farm near Hamilton and he says companies like Middletown give his industry a bad name.

He explains that opportunistic businesspeople can take advantage of conscientious customers by "selling a slick story" about compassionate animal care and the "country lifestyle" that comes with organic farming.

Veenstra argues anybody can fake a 'friendly farm' with a few phony photos and a truckload of wholesale meat.

His recommendation is to visit a farm in person to get an up-close look at the operation before you place an order.