CDFA Secretary Ross calls Dec. 21 hearing on all California milk prices

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross called for a Dec. 21 hearing to consider proposed amendments to all classes of California milk – not just the Class 4b price as requested by three producer organizations on Dec. 3.

According to CDFA’s hearing notice, proposed adjustments to Class 1, 2, 2, 4a and 4b prices will be considered for a period not to exceed six months.
The hearing will be held Dec. 21, at the CDFA auditorium, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, Calif. The hearing will begin at 7 a.m. and continue until all testimony has been received. To download the Secretary’s notice, please click here.
Proposed amendments to the class prices may only increase or decrease the per-pound component prices of the class prices. All interested parties who wish to introduce testimony and/or exhibits shall provide 8 copies of documents. Copies of the transcripts received at the hearing will be available for inspection at the Dairy Marketing Branch. The Department’s entire hearing exhibit for this hearing will be available for public inspection at the Dairy Marketing Branch office on Dec. 14.
Ross filed the hearing notice after denying the petition filed by California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America – Western Area Council (DFA) and Land O’Lakes, Inc. (LOL) requesting a hearing on changing the class 4b pricing formula.
In a letter to CDI CEO Andrei Mikhalevsky, DFA senior vice president Dennis Rodenbaugh and LOL general counsel Pete Janzen, CDFA director Kevin Masuhara denied the request, saying “the proposed modification does not effectuate the purposes of the Stabilization and Marketing Plans.”
“The Department has determined that the modification of one component of one class of milk – the dry whey factor – is an inappropriate mechanism to address the financial challenges of California dairy producers for a couple of reasons. First, it cannot be justified due to a lack of reliable economic data that can be used to calculate this value in relation to the market. Second, there is an inequity embedded within the factor because not all cheese plants transform dry whey into a marketable dry whey product.” Click here to download the letter denying the petition.

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