Sunday, 30 April, 2017

Canada trade dispute threatens livelihood of dairy farms

Grassland Dairy cuts back on number of farms supplying milk Amul Dairy ups milk procurement price
Craig Ferguson | 08 April, 2017, 07:41

Some U.S. dairy companies say that in the past week, they've lost all their Canadian sales of ultrafiltered milk, a concentrated ingredient used to boost protein content in cheese and yogurt. Canada is no longer accepting the milk due to the country's new Class 7 pricing policy.

"The Canadian business affects Grassland up to 1 million pounds of milk per day".

Dairy experts say there is too much milk available on the market today, and contractual obligations at other milk processors or dairies that make yogurt and ice cream may not allow them to accept more milk from new sources.

04/06/2017Wisconsin's entire dairy industry had a collective sick feeling in the pits of their stomachs over the past couple of days after hearing the news that various dairy plants are cutting off some of their farm patrons because of an oversupply of milk. "Finding a new processor fast (to replace Grassland) is my priority".

The losses for the dairy industries in Wisconsin and NY alone - in not having Canada as a market for ultra-filtered milk - could run into hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the National Milk Producers Federation, an Arlington, Va., trade group.

"The problem right now is that we've seen milk production go up in other states, including South Dakota and MI, and (Wisconsin processors have) bought up some of that milk, so the system is full right now and has left us less flexibility than we had hoped for", Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel told the Wisconsin State Journal.

He said the state is contacting all milk processors across Wisconsin and in other parts of the country to assist Wisconsin dairy farmers impacted by Grassland's decision. In November, Governor Scott Walker circulated a guest column addressing the Canadian pricing policy created to discourage US exports of ultra-filtered milk. "We continue to witness a backsliding by Canada in its already agreed-to market access for USA products".

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"Grassland recently made the hard decision to reduce our milk intake volumes". According to the National Milk Producers Federal, Canadian officials are guaranteeing processors there a lower price in exchange for them buying milk from Canadian dairy farmers.

"Our state's dairy farmers are some of the best in the world, and they should not be the victims of a trade dispute they didn't start", read a statement attributed to Sen.

"There is nowhere else to go with the milk", said farmer James Juedes.

"They've invested in technology that enhances the value of product it sends out", Brancel said.

"Canada's protectionist dairy policies are having precisely the effect Canada intended: cutting off US dairy exports of ultra-filtered milk to Canada despite long-standing contracts with American companies", said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. "After evaluating and adjusting as much milk as possible, we were forced to decrease our milk intake". "This is not free markets, this is protectionism", he said.

"Grassland's announcement really isn't good for anyone", North said.

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