Hawaii Dairies Disagree about Milk Pricing

09:36AM Jul 18, 2014
Big Island Dairy Cows
( Wyatt Bechtel )

Dairy farmers on the Big Island say one of Hawaii's largest dairy farms has requested to sell milk below the minimum price set by the state.

West Hawaii Today reported that concerns were raised at a public hearing hosted by the state Department of Agriculture held Tuesday on the Big Island.

Big Island Dairy requested to sell milk at a price below the minimum set by the Milk Control Act.

Cloverleaf Dairy President Ed Boteilho Jr. said if the request is granted for just Big Island Dairy it will give that company a price monopoly.

Boteilho said he was told Big Island Dairy's request was backed by milk processor Meadow Gold, and that the companies had reached a pricing agreement.

"In order for us to supply more milk, we need to secure contracts with processors so that we may plan for the future," said Brad Duff, general manager of Big Island Dairy, who testified in favor of the proposal.

State Milk Control Program specialist Grant Tomita in the Department of Agriculture says the Big Island Dairy's request will be considered at a meeting next month in Honolulu. The meeting date has not yet been set.