International Dairy Foods Association released this statement Thursday opposing dairy reform legislation:
"Dairy policy continues to be highly controversial. The International Dairy Foods Association, representing milk and dairy manufacturers and 200,000 jobs across the country, opposes S. 1658 and H.R. 3111 because they would limit the U.S. milk supply and raise milk prices. The bills also fail to reduce the regulatory burden, caused by our antiquated and unnecessary milk pricing system, on the dairy industry.
“To find consensus on dairy policy in the short term, Congress should focus on expanding risk management tools for dairy farmers, not expanding government regulations and government intervention in dairy markets.
“While we appreciate the efforts to include dairy in these bills as a starting point for discussion, we adamantly oppose the Dairy Market Stabilization Program because it is anti-consumer and imposes new taxes on dairy manufacturers. Not a single congressional hearing has been held or economic study conducted on the impacts of the new and significantly altered details of this program on the dairy industry.
“There are other dairy proposals that can be funded within existing resources available to Congress, and they do not include a government program to limit the milk supply that would hurt exports, limit industry growth and eliminate needed American jobs.
“IDFA supports proposals that would expand existing risk management programs for dairy, such as a stand-alone margin insurance program, and allow the marketplace to determine milk prices.”
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org