The Vermont Milk Commission met last Thursday to consider a proposed premium that milk processors would be required to pay for all milk sold at retail in the state. The commission members voted to drop the set target price level of $27.00 per hundredweight and to hold another hearing to consider how much the premium should be and to assess the need for retail price caps.
The hearing is set for November 18, and the commission plans to make a final decision by December 8.
At the November 18 hearing, the commission will consider the impact of the price premium on consumer pricing and how the collected funds would be disbursed if a new target price is set. The commission also will review the idea of imposing a retail price cap on the milk to keep processors from passing on the cost of the premium to consumers.
Under the initial proposal, milk processors would have paid a minimum of $27.00 per hundredweight, allowing the commission to collect from processors the difference between the minimum price and the federal government's Class I price for the Northeast milk marketing region. This revenue would go directly to producers in the region.
At last week's meeting, the commission reviewed testimony on the proposal gathered during a September 9 hearing and from submitted statements. IDFA opposed the regulation and engaged Carl Herbein, a dairy cost accounting expert, to testify at the hearing on its behalf. IDFA also submitted a written statement, arguing against the proposal. See "Dairy Companies and Retailers Oppose Vermont's Proposed 'Milk Tax.'"
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA senior director of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-220-3553.