Dairy Companies Oppose New Farm Bill Restrictions

May 7, 2013 03:16 AM

Source: International Dairy Foods Association

More than 30 dairy foods manufacturers – including some of the largest food companies in the United States – have sent letters over the past week to members of the House and Senate, including key agriculture committee members, calling on them to oppose government-imposed limits on milk supply. Instead, they urge legislators to adopt the Dairy Freedom Act, a bipartisan compromise alternative offered by two House Agriculture Committee members, Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and David Scott (D-GA).

The manufacturing companies are members of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which has been the leading opponent of the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, a supply management provision included in the Dairy Security Act, part of the Farm Bill versions proposed by the committees last year.

"The Dairy Freedom Act would resolve a very contentious issue that has played a significant role in delaying the Farm Bill," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative and economic affairs. "This bill mirrors everything in the Dairy Security Act except the hugely divisive supply management provision, which is opposed by a broad and deep alliance of consumer groups, anti-tax groups, food and restaurant groups, many dairy producer groups and dairy foods manufacturers."

Dairy foods manufacturers would be subjected to new and extensive regulations under the provision in the Dairy Security Act, which is expected to be included in the Farm Bill versions proposed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK). Both chairs were copied on the letters. The Dairy Market Stabilization Program would use market regulations to assure that farm milk prices remain high, which would hurt consumers, food companies and dairy exporters.

South Dakota
In South Dakota, Saputo Cheese USA, Inc.; Lake Norden Food Ingredient Company (Davisco Foods International, Inc.); Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Inc.; and Bel Brands USA, Inc. wrote to Senator John Thune (R-SD) and to House Agriculture Committee Member Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD).

In Pennsylvania, Carl Colteryahn Dairy Inc.; Turkey Hill Dairy, Inc.; Galliker Dairy Company; Hershey Creamery Company; HP Hood LLC (Penn Maid/Crowley Foods, Rosenberger’s Dairies/Crowley Foods); The Kroger Company; Alouette Cheese LLC; Dean Foods Company (Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms, Meadowbrook Dairy, Swiss Premium Dairy); and Kraft Foods Group wrote to Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and to House Agriculture Committee Member Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA).

In California, Hilmar Cheese Company; Lactalis American Group; Safeway; The Kroger Company (Compton Creamery, Riverside Creamery); Arthur Schuman, Inc.; Alouette Cheese (Fleur De Lait-West); Nestle USA; Dean Foods (Alta Dena Dairy, Berkeley Farms, Heartland Farms, Swiss Dairy); and Saputo, Inc. wrote to Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D-CA), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).

In Alabama, Blue Bell Creameries, Borden Dairy Company, Dean Foods (Barber’s Dairy, Mayfield Dairy Farms) and Saputo, Inc. wrote to Representatives Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Martha Roby (R-AL), both members of the House Agriculture Committee.

In Kentucky, Bel Brands USA, Borden Dairy Company, The Kroger Company (Winchester Farms Dairy), Dean Foods (Louis Trauth Dairy) and Saputo, Inc. wrote to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The full letter is available here.

In Iowa, Anderson Erickson Dairy Co.; Agropur Inc.; Wapsie Valley Creamery, Inc.; Wells Enterprises, Inc.; Nestle USA; and Dean Foods wrote to Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

In Wisconsin, Lactalis American Group; Saputo Cheese USA; Bel Brands USA; Grande Cheese Company (Grande Custom Ingredients Group); Galloway Company; Sargento Foods Inc.; Arthur Schuman, Inc. (Imperia Foods); Sartori Company; Agropur Inc.; Dean Foods (Morning Glory Dairy, Verifine Dairy Products); and Great Lakes Cheese Co., Inc. wrote to Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Tom Petri (R-WI), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

In Texas, Hilmar Cheese Company; Borden Dairy Company; The Dannon Company; Plains Dairy, LLC; Blue Bell Creameries, LP; H-E-B; The Kroger Co.;, Dean Foods (Gandy’s Dairy Products, Oak Farms Dairy, Price’s Creameries, Southwest Ice Cream Specialties); and Saputo, Inc. (Saputo Dairy Foods) wrote to Representatives Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Pete Gallego (D-TX), Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Filemon Vela (D-TX), who are all House Agriculture Committee members.

In Ohio, Pierre’s Ice Cream Company and Miceli’s wrote to House Agriculture Committee member Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH).

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