California’s three largest dairy cooperatives want the state to join the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO). California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) and Land O’Lakes, Inc. sent a proposal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), petitioning for milk producers in California to begin operating under the system that provides consistent regulation across the United States
Under existing regulations, California dairy farmers operate under statewide milk pricing plans. The majority of farmers in other states operate under a FMMO, which provides uniform dairy prices for milk based on market prices. Shifting to a FMMO for California supports the desire of these cooperatives’ dairy farmers to receive more equitable, market-based milk prices.
Changes made to the California state order before 2011 resulted in California’s dairy farm families enduring unsustainable pricing for their milk. Cooperative leaders from CDI, DFA and Land O’Lakes, Inc. began advocating for a FMMO to work with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to correct pricing disparity.
The proposal asks USDA to hold a regulatory hearing that will provide ample opportunity for other dairy industry organizations, companies and producers to provide input.