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Opposition to Dairy Supply Management Mounts

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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 International Dairy Foods Association

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