making a difference for dairy
Be Heard

Regulatory RoundUp

Get Involved

Advocacy: Dairy Counts

Join the Discussion

Dairy Forum

Dairy Delivers℠: The Economic Impact of Dairy Products
Advocacy: Dairy Counts
FDA Milk Safety Memoranda
Tariff Schedules
Buyers' Guide
Member Hotlines
Dairy Market Prices
Quick Links

Dairy Facts 2016

Consumer Watchdog Groups Urge House and Senate Leaders to Oppose Milk Supply Management

May 02, 2013

Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(202) 220-3508

(Washington, D.C. – May 2, 2013) A trio of national consumer organizations expressed their strong opposition to “dairy programs that propose to assist dairy farmers by imposing limits on milk production” in letters sent this week to House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders. The comments refer to the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), a supply management provision included in the Dairy Security Act, part of the Farm Bill versions proposed by the committees last year.

“The Dairy Market Stabilization Program is specifically designed to raise milk prices and would ultimately increase the prices that consumers pay for milk and dairy products,” the letter states. “We urge that you consider that programs which artificially increase milk prices will hit lower income consumers the most as they spend a higher proportion of their incomes on food than do other consumers.”

Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumers League urged Senate Committee on Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) to reject the supply management provision “if that proposal is to be included in the Farm Bill. ”

The groups also pointed out in the letter that “Price increases caused by the Stabilization program would negatively impact federal nutrition assistance programs, on which millions of low-income families depend, by increasing program costs and reducing their purchasing power.

“At a time when so many U.S. consumers are having difficulty making ends meet, the last thing they need are unnecessary, artificial increases in the price of staple food products,” the letter concluded.

“This is much more than a milk-producer-against-processor issue because supply management will negatively impact the ability of millions of families to buy nutritious milk and dairy products,” said Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association. “That’s why a broad spectrum of consumer groups and others have joined IDFA to oppose government policies that artificially raise prices on dairy foods for consumers.”

IDFA has been a leading opponent of the supply management provision since its introduction, as it would cause dairy food manufacturers to be directly regulated under the proposed new program; dairy exports would decline while dairy imports would be encouraged; and dairy industry growth and job creation would be stifled. IDFA supports a bipartisan compromise alternative known as the Dairy Freedom Act, which includes all of the elements of the Dairy Security Act except the Dairy Market Stabilization Program.


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. 


Dairy Delivers