(Washington, D.C. – April 24, 2012) Jerry Slominski, senior vice president for legislative and economic affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association, issued the following statement on the amendment offered by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) to the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) mark of the 2012 Farm Bill. The amendment would strike the dairy market stabilization program that is included in the draft and based on H.R. 3062, the Dairy Security Act offered by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), and replace it with a stand-alone margin insurance program for dairy producers.
“We applaud Senator Bennet for his leadership and thank him for offering an amendment that makes sense for dairy policy. We fully support a margin insurance proposal without it being tied to a program that limits milk supply and manipulates prices. This amendment accomplishes the true compromise we have been urging for a long time.
"We encourage dairy producers and dairy food manufacturers alike who are opposed to government interference in our businesses to back this motion and tell their senators to support the Bennet amendment. It is the right middle ground for our dairy industry and the right way to move forward with the important work of getting a Farm Bill done.”
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), headquartered in 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 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.