Assembly Bill 31 was introduced on the state Assembly floor Monday.
Source: Western United Dairymen news release
Western United Dairymen is sponsoring a bill, introduced Monday in the California Legislature, that would more closely align the whey value in the California 4b formula with the regulated minimum price for whey found in surrounding states.
The legislation follows up on the WUD board’s action in October directing staff to develop language addressing the whey value issue and securing bipartisan support to successfully advance the bill in the California legislature.
Assembly Bill 31 was introduced on the Assembly floor by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento.) “Dairy farmers produce products that are important to our health and California’s economy," said Pan. "We need to ensure that dairy farmers can be paid for their products at rates that reflect their costs and the true market value of dairy products so California dairies can survive and create jobs in California.”
“As a legislator with a science background, I visited a dairy farm and saw the high level of technology and innovation used to produce safe, high quality milk, cheese and other dairy products,” Pam added. “I am proud to partner with dairy farmers to author legislation so new, innovative uses of whey result in income for dairies to be competitive and expand the availability of dairy products.”
WUD President Tom Barcellos said, “Too many of our dairy families have fallen victim to a milk pricing formula that has failed to capture for producers the true value of the milk and its components in the face of extraordinary feed costs. California dairy families are very concerned about their future and have been voicing those concerns. We’re all agreed on the need for action as soon as possible. Without dairy producers in business, California has little need for dairy processors.”
CEO Michael Marsh said initial reception to the proposed bill in the legislature has been very positive.
“Hopefully, our groundwork and the highly regarded reputation Western United has built over the years in the Capitol will help us expedite passage and quickly attain a positive remedy to our 4b pricing dilemma,” Marsh said.
WUD is a voluntary membership organization representing more than 60% of the milk produced in California. Membership benefits include resources in labor law, environmental regulations and pricing issues. Members decide the direction of state and federal legislative efforts affecting the dairy industry.