#TGD: Opposition to Dairy Supply Management Mounts

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As the House and Senate Agriculture Committees prepare to write a new Farm Bill this week, the list of organizations opposed to a proposed dairy program continues to grow. Nearly 150 organizations and businesses across the food chain, from farmers and food manufacturers to food retailers and consumers, have signed letters to members of Congress urging them to oppose the “Dairy Market Stabilization Program” (DMSP). This program is designed to raise milk prices by establishing federal regulations to periodically limit the U.S. milk supply when farms are growing.

The DMSP is a controversial proposal that is part of the Dairy Security Act, a bill sponsored by Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) that is included in drafts of the next Farm Bill. Both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees will consider the draft bills this week.

Consumer groups have expressed concern that the DMSP would “ultimately increase the prices that consumers pay for milk and dairy products,” adding that the program would prevent prices from falling while providing no protection from periodic milk price surges. A broad coalition of food manufacturers, grocers, retailers, restaurants, chain restaurants and pizza makers joined with dairy processors in saying that “restricting milk supplies will hurt dairy industry growth, leading to long-term consequences” for the industry.

Twelve conservative organizations have expressed opposition to the DMSP saying that the program would have the federal government “manage both supply and demand for milk in order to keep prices artificially high.” The groups added, “Consumers will pay even more for dairy products, government funds will be wasted on dairy purchases, and dairy industry and job growth will be stunted.”

Several key dairy farmer organizations also have joined the opposition to the DMSP. California Dairies, Inc., the nation’s second-largest dairy cooperative and the largest exporter of milk powder products in the Western Hemisphere, has written that the DMSP “could lead to adverse results for our nation’s export efforts.” Wisconsin’s Dairy Business Association has voiced opposition and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association wrote that the “DMSP would limit farm growth during a time when farms [in New York State in particular] have a demand for our product to meet the needs of our dairy processing plants.”

Many of these organizations, including consumer groups, food and restaurant groups, numerous dairy producer groups and dairy food manufacturers, have urged support for the Dairy Freedom Act, a bipartisan, compromise alternative to be offered as an amendment by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and David Scott (D-GA). The Goodlatte-Scott bill would offer an effective safety net program for dairy farmers but would not include the controversial proposal to limit milk supplies and artificially keep prices high. According to the Congressional Budget Office, implementing the Goodlatte-Scott bill would cost slightly less than implementing the Dairy Security Act with the DMSP.

“The truth is that Congress can help dairy farmers without hurting consumers and nearly everyone else up and down the food chain,” said Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association. “The Goodlatte-Scott bill would provide an effective safety net to help dairy producers through difficult economic times, yet would cost taxpayers less than Representative Peterson’s proposal, and it wouldn’t handcuff dairy exports or dairy industry job growth.”

Trade Associations, Policy Organizations, Producer Groups and Businesses Opposing the Dairy Market Stabilization Act

 
 Agropur Inc. 
 Alabama Grocers Association 
 Alliance Dairies (Florida) 
 Alouette Cheese LLC 
 Alta Dena Dairy 
 American Commitment 
 American Enterprise Institute 
 American Enterprise Institute 
 American Pizza Community 
 Americans for Prosperity 
 Americans for Tax Reform 
 Anderson Erickson Dairy Company 
 Arizona Food Marketing Alliance 
 Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association 
 Arthur Schuman, Inc. 
 Barber's Dairy 
 Bel Brands USA, Inc. 
 Berkeley Farms 
 Blue Bell Creameries, L.P. 
 Board of Directors of Bongards' Creameries (Minnesota) 
 Borden Dairy Company of Alabama, LLC 
 California Dairies, Inc. 
 Campaign for Liberty 
 Carl Colteryahn Dairy, Inc. 
 Carolinas Food Industry Council 
 Center for Individual Freedom 
 Club for Growth 
 Competitive Enterprise Institute 
 Compton Creamery 
 Consumer Action 
 Consumer Federation of America 
 Consumers Union 
 Cost of Government Center 
 Council for Citizens Against Government Waste 
 Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative 
 Dairy Institute of California 
 Dairy Policy Action Coalition 
 Davisco Foods International, Inc. 
 Dean Foods Company 
 Dean Foods-Buena Park 
 Delaware Food Industry Council 
 First District Association (Minnesota) 
 Fleur De Lait-West 
 Food Industry Alliance of New York 
 Food Marketing Institute 
 FreedomWorks 
 Galliker Dairy Company 
 Galloway Company 
 Gandy's Dairy Products 
 Georgia Food Industry Association 
 Glanbia Foods Inc. 
 Grande Cheese Company 
 Great Lakes Cheese of Seymour, Inc. 
 Great Lakes Cheese of Wisconsin, Inc. 
 Grocery Manufacturers of America 
 Hawaii Food Industry Association 
 Heartland Farms 
 H-E-B 
 Hershey Creamery Company 
 High Desert Milk (Idaho) 
 Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. 
 HP Hood LLC 
 Idaho Retailers Association 
 Illinois Food retailers Association 
 Imperia Foods 
 International Dairy Foods Association 
 Kansas Food Dealers Association 
 Kraft Foods Group, Inc. 
 Lactalis American Group 
 Lactalis Deli 
 Lake Country Dairy 
 Lake Norden Cheese Company 
 Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms 
 Leprino Foods Company 
 Louis Trauth Dairy 
 Louisiana Retailers Association 
 Maine Grocers Association 
 Maryland Retail Association 
 Massachusetts Food Association 
 Mayfield Dairy Farms 
 Meadowbrook Dairy 
 Michigan Grocers Association 
 Minnesota Grocers Association 
 Minnesota Milk Producers 
 Missouri Grocers Association 
 Montana Food Distributors Association 
 Morning Glory Dairy 
 National All-Jersey, Inc. 
 National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) 
 National Consumers League 
 National Council of Chain Restaurants 
 National Frozen Pizza Institute 
 National Grocers Association 
 National Restaurant Association 
 National Taxpayers Union 
 Nebraska Grocery Industry Association 
 Nestle USA, Inc. 
 New Hampshire Grocers Association 
 New Jersey Food Council 
 North Dakota Grocers Association 
 North East Dairy Producers Association, Inc. 
 Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Inc. 
 Oak Farms Dairy 
 Penn Made/Crowley Foods 
 Plains Dairy, L.L.C. 
 Price's Creameries 
 Publix Super Markets Inc. 
 R Street Institute 
 Retail Grocers Association of Greater Kansas City 
 Riverside Creamery 
 Rosenberger's Dairies 
 Safeway Inc. 
 Saputo Cheese USA, Inc. 
 Saputo Dairy Foods 
 Sargento Foods Inc. 
 Sartori Company 
 South Dakota Retailers Association 
 Southwest Ice Cream Specialties 
 Swiss Dairy 
 Swiss Premium Dairy 
 Taxpayers for Common Sense 
 Taxpayers Protection Alliance 
 Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association 
 Texas Retailers Association 
 The Dannon Company, Inc. 
 The Kroger Company 
 Turkey Hill Dairy, Inc. 
 Utah Food Industry Association 
 Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Inc. 
 Verifine Dairy Products 
 Virginia Retail Merchants Association 
 Wapsie Valley Creamery, Inc. 
 Washington Food Industry Association 
 Wells Enterprises, Inc. 
 Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association 
 Wisconsin Dairy Business Association 
 Wisconsin Grocers Association

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 $125-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.

Source: WSJ

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