Proposal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide consistent regulation across the United States
Underscoring continued support of their farmer-owners, the three largest dairy cooperatives in California submitted a joint proposal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), petitioning for milk producers in the state to begin operating under a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO). California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) and Land O’Lakes, Inc. submitted the proposal this week.
Under existing regulations, California dairy farmers operate under statewide milk pricing plans. The majority of farmers in other states operate under a FMMO, which provides uniform dairy prices for milk based on market prices. Shifting to a FMMO for California supports the desire of these cooperatives’ dairy farmers to receive more equitable, market-based milk prices.
Changes made to the California state order before 2011 resulted in California’s dairy farm families enduring unsustainable pricing for their milk. Cooperative leaders from CDI, DFA and Land O’Lakes, Inc. began advocating for a FMMO to work with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to correct pricing disparity.
As the first step in the process, the proposal requests USDA to announce a regulatory hearing that will provide ample opportunity for other dairy industry organizations, companies and producers to provide input.
About California Dairies, Inc.
California Dairies, Inc. is the largest member-owned milk marketing and processing cooperative in California producing 47 percent of California’s milk. Co-owned by more than 410 dairy producers who ship 18 billion pounds of Real California Milk annually, California Dairies, Inc. is a manufacturer of quality butter, fluid milk products and milk powders. In addition, California Dairies, Inc. is the home of two leading and well-respected brands of butter – Challenge and Danish Creamery. California Dairies’ quality dairy products are available in all 50 United States and in more than 50 foreign countries. For additional information on California Dairies, Inc., visit www.californiadairies.com.
About Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by nearly 15,000 members on nearly 9,000 farms in 48 states. DFA also is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit www.dfamilk.com.
About Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from farm production to consumer foods. With 2013 annual sales of more than $14.2 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 199 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 93 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.
CONTACT: Marie teVelde, California Dairies, Inc., 559-623-6977, or Monica Massey, Dairy Farmers of America, 816-801-6486, or Larry Meadows, Land O’Lakes, 651-375-4010