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Illinois Dairy Foods Companies Oppose Government-Imposed Supply Management

Mar 23, 2012

Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(202) 202-3508

Urge Legislators to Adopt Compromise Producer Safety Net

(Washington, D.C. – March 23, 2012) Six major Illinois dairy foods companies have expressed their opposition to proposed legislation in a letter to Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Timothy Johnson (R-IL) and Bobby Schilling (R-IL) who are members of the House Agriculture Committee. The letter was sent this morning to coincide with the committee's Farm Bill field hearing in Galesburg, Ill.

Dairy manufacturers would be directly regulated by the Dairy Security Act, H.R. 3062, as proposed by the National Milk Producers Federation, the trade association representing the dairy cooperatives, and introduced by Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN).

“We are counting on you to vote against new regulations on our businesses that are offered [by the Peterson bill]” wrote the leaders of Arthur Schuman, Inc., Bel Brands USA; Brewster Dairy, Inc.; Dean Foods Company; Kraft Foods; Nestle USA Inc.; and Oberweis Dairy, Inc. “A vote to approve the [dairy coop proposal] is a vote to expand the reach of government into our commercial market transactions.”

The companies, members of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), included a statement that IDFA submitted to the official record for today's hearing. The statement details the problems that are created when government programs attempt to help farmers by dictating prices instead of providing assistance during hard times.

In the statement, IDFA said other commodities “have moved to insurance and other risk management tools instead of government price intervention. Not only will dairy exports decline if Congress imposes supply management, but dairy imports will be encouraged, causing problems for future trade negotiations."

The full content of the letter is available here.

IDFA’s statement is available here.

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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. 

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