US dairy foods firms collaborate to oppose milk production limits

Publish time: 4th October, 2013      Source:
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October 4, 2013



US dairy foods firms collaborate to oppose milk production limits




In a move to oppose the government-mandated production limits, twenty-eight dairy manufacturers, including some of the largest food companies in the US, have sent letters to the Senate conferees for the 2013 Farm Bill.



The companies are members of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which have called on the Senate to accept the House-passed dairy title that does not include a controversial new programme that would periodically limit milk supplies.



The programme, called the Dairy Market Stabilisation Programme, was included in the Farm Bill as passed by the Senate in June. But in July, the House rejected the controversial programme by more than a two-to-one margin, 291-135. In a rare show of bipartisanship, 95 Democrats joined 196 Republicans in support of compromise dairy language that establishes a new and effective revenue insurance programme for dairy farmers but removes the divisive stabilisation programme.



"The Senate bill would require dairy farmers enrolled in a margin insurance programme to periodically limit the amount of milk their farms can sell," the letter reads. "And it would empower USDA to regulate our businesses, by requiring us to withhold a portion of our commercial market payments to dairy farmers who supply milk to our manufacturing plants and submit these funds to USDA instead.



"We believe this convoluted system is the wrong approach," the manufacturers said. "Dairy farmers who take advantage of the margin insurance should not be required to participate in a programme that would have the government directly interfere in the milk supply. Limiting the milk supply will discourage further investment and growth in our industry and will impose additional and unnecessary regulations on our businesses."



"The House-passed bill allows dairy companies, particularly dairy exporters, to continue to grow and create jobs," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs. "It provides an effective new safety net to help dairy farmers through difficult times without reducing the effectiveness of our government''s nutritional safety net."