CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The leaders of the International Dairy Foods Association's (IDFA) three constituent organizations voted today to support IDFA's dairy policy reform recommendations and to oppose the National Milk Producers Federation's dairy policy package.  The directors of the Milk Industry Foundation, the National Cheese Institute and the International Ice Cream Association met this weekend to review current policy reform proposals and approved the IDFA's policy recommendations that would reform the Federal Milk Marketing Orders and provide a better safety net for dairy farmers.


"IDFA's plan offers an alternative path forward that would not limit milk supply through a new mandatory government program, and will give dairy farmers the tools they need to manage volatility," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.  "We support policy initiatives --many of which are included in the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee recommendations--that will help our industry grow, not only through increased consumption here in the U.S., but by taking advantage of new and growing export opportunities."


IDFA's policy recommendations will replace existing safety net programs with better risk management tools for producers.  IDFA proposals will also reform the Federal Milk Marketing Order system from a complex, outdated program to a system that is simpler and encourages growth within the industry.

"Our members believe that it is time to decrease regulations in a highly regulated industry and the National Milk policy package does just the opposite," said Tipton.

Recommendations include:


    --  Replacing the outdated and ineffective Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) and Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) with better risk management tools for producers;

    --  Strengthening dairy risk management tools including forward contracting, the Livestock Growth Management-Dairy program, catastrophic margin insurance for all dairy farmers and tax deferred farm savings accounts;


    --  Simplifying the Federal Milk Marketing Orders program.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, DC, represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.


Source: International Dairy Foods Association