Food Retailer Groups Decry Milk Program

The Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association and National Grocers Association are among the food trade organizations opposing a controversial new dairy program designed to periodically limit milk production.

FMI, GMA and NGA have joined the National Restaurant Association, the National Chain Restaurant Association and the National Frozen Pizza Institute, among others, to fight the program that is included in the House Agriculture Committee chairman’s version of the Farm Bill. They have allied with consumer groups, state dairy associations and anti-tax groups to urge committee members to support a bipartisan amendment, offered by U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) that would remove the program.

“We respectfully ask you to support the bipartisan Goodlatte/D. Scott amendment that will establish support for dairy farmers without mandating that they participate in a new government dairy ‘supply management’ program,” the groups’ joint letter said. “We have learned from past experience that government management of commodity supply and demand does not work. Restricting milk supplies will hinder growth in dairy markets and increase dairy product costs, leading to negative long-term consequences for dairy farms, processors, retailers, restaurants, consumers and taxpayers.”

The International Dairy Foods Association and several producer groups, including the nation’s second-largest dairy cooperative, have been leading an effort to remove the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, also known as supply management, from the Dairy Security Act because, they say, it will raise consumer prices, hurt exports, cost thousands of new jobs and stifle investments in new facilities. The Goodlatte/D. Scott amendment retains nearly 80 percent of what is proposed by the Dairy Security Act, including a new revenue insurance program for dairy producers.

Other signers of the letter include Americans for Tax Reform, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Dairy Institute of California and Northeast Dairy Foods Association Inc.

The Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers.


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