Food associations voice opposition to new dairy supply program

July 11, 2012

Several national food trade associations have voiced their opposition to a new dairy program designed to periodically limit milk production that is included in the House Agriculture Committee chairman's version of the Farm Bill.

The list of organizations opposing the program includes the National Restaurant Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Chain Restaurant Association, the National Grocers Association and the National Frozen Pizza Institute.

The food processors, retailers and restaurateurs joined with consumer groups, state dairy associations and anti-tax groups to urge members of the House Agriculture Committee to support a bipartisan amendment, offered by 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 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 believe it will raise consumer prices, hurt exports, cost thousands of new jobs and stifle investments in new facilities.

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