Alliance of Western Milk Producers to Disband

November 1, 2012 10:45 AM

Two California dairy co-ops will carry on the work of the Alliance, which represented 60% of California’s milk in legislative, environmental and other issues.

Source: California Dairies Inc. news release

SACRAMENTO — Nov. 1, 2012— Effective today, the Alliance of Western Milk Producers, a coalition of California dairy processing cooperatives representing 60 percent of California’s milk, will cease to function. The Alliance members, California Dairies, Inc. (CDI) and Dairy Farmers of America Western Area (DFA), have determined that a formal organization is no longer necessary to accomplish a concerted effort of California cooperatives.

“Our commitment to working together for the mutual benefit of our respective members remains strong. However, the landscape of the dairy industry has changed dramatically over the last 21 years,” said Tony Mendes, chairman of the board. “As successful as the Alliance has been, the leadership of CDI and DFA has concluded that the ability to collaborate and communicate is most efficiently and effectively achieved through a less formal and more flexible structure. I look forward to effectuating this new approach to meet the mutual challenges facing the members of CDI and DFA.”

William Van Dam, CEO of the Alliance since January 2007, will retire at year’s end.

Formed in 1991, the Alliance has represented cooperative interests and its producer members to the California legislature, at California Department of Food and Agriculture regulatory hearings and through participation in organizations (i.e., Dairy Cares and the California Environmental Justice Fund) that seek to improve the business environment for California dairy producers. Since its inception, the Alliance has found success in many areas including, but not limited to, its use of Capper-Volstead Act protections to form joint marketing agreements to lessen the competition among California cooperatives and its vigorous efforts to protect California milk standards from out-of-state attacks.

CDI and DFA will carry on the work of the Alliance using less formal methods to consult and coordinate on issues that affect California cooperatives and their members. CDI and DFA will each continue their active participation in Dairy Cares and the California Dairy Environmental Justice Fund.

About California Dairies, Inc.
California Dairies, Inc. is the largest member-owned milk marketing and processing cooperative in California producing 43 percent of California’s milk. Co-owned by more than 420 dairy producers who ship more than 17 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.

About Dairy Farmers of America
Together, Dairy Farmers of America is 15,000 dairy farmers working to bring milk from their farms to family tables around the world. As owners of DFA, they enjoy a secure home for their milk, resources to help on the farm and returns on the products they produce, from fluid milk and ice cream to cheese, butter and ingredients.

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