Cooperatives Working Together announced Wednesday that it has accepted a bid from WestFarm Foods of Seattle, WA, to export 140 metric tons (approximately 308,000 pounds) of butter to Israel. CWT will pay the export bonus to the bidder, once completion of the butter shipment is verified.

This is the first time since CWT began its Export Assistance program in January 2004 that sales of butter products have been facilitated. Additionally, the fat content of the product being sold is 82 percent butterfat, identical to European-style butter and higher than the U.S. standard of 80 percent fat.

“With butter prices dropping steadily in the last half of this year, this action by CWT should indicate that we have the ability to help our members meet the overseas demand for U.S.-produced butter products, as well as for the more than 10 million pounds of cheese that we’ve helped sell in the past two years,” said Walt Wosje, Chief Operating Officer of CWT.  The price of AA butter is currently $1.33 per pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the lowest level since Dec. 31, 2003.

Through CWT’s Export Assistance program, exports occur as overseas buyers are found for the products, and as CWT’s members bid to be compensated for selling cheese and butter to those importers.

Cooperatives Working Together is being funded by dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers, who are contributing 5 cents per hundredweight assessment on their milk production through December 2006.  The money raised by CWT’s investment is being apportioned among several supply reduction programs to improve the national all milk price. For more on CWT’s activities, visit