CWT On Pace For Record Year

cwt1August 22, 2013 — Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) is on pace for a record year, according to Jim Tillison, Chief Operating Officer.

“In fact, we are doing so much business we are asking dairy farmers to increase their investment in CWT from two cents a hundredweight to four cents per hundred pounds of milk,” he said on Thursday’s DairyLine.

So far this year, CWT has assisted members in exporting over 80 million pounds of American style cheese (primarily Cheddar cheese) and over 65 million pounds of 82 percent butter. Other exports have included some whole milk powder and anhydrous milkfat.

“I think the key thing here is we are helping our members to establish themselves in the world markets,” Tillison said. “That’s important because the world marketplace is growing at a rate five times faster than the domestic market.”

While nothing appears to be happening in Congress regarding a new Farm Bill, Tillison believes the CWT program is providing a very important service to all dairy farmers by moving this dairy product off shore.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted members in exporting the equivalent of over 2.2 billion pounds of milk. That’s almost a half-billion pounds more than the projected increase in milk production this year.

“As a result, we are trying to move inventory levels down which will result in higher average prices for dairy farmers throughout the year,” he said.

Increasing the investment will allow CWT to be even more competitive in the marketplace and to reach more markets, according to Tillison.

“The China market has barely been scratched by exports and regardless of what happens in the Farm Bill, it’s important that we grow the demand for dairy farmers’ products. Not only domestically, which is being done through DMI and the Real Seal program that National Milk is promoting, but also through the CWT program, allowing our members to be competitive in world markets. That’s really going to be the key to the future growth of the dairy industry in the United States.”

The global market has been growing for the United States the last several years and will continue to grow. There’s a tremendous demand for protein in the developing world. As every country advances and grows their middle class, there is more demand for more protein for different products such as cheeseburgers and pizza. CWT sees that growing in Asian and the Middle East significantly.

“We hope every dairy farmer will see the value of CWT and join the 70 percent of those that are producing milk in this country that are already making their investment,” Tillison concluded.

Weekly updates on CWT and membership information is available at www.cwt.coop.

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