The second round of bidding under the Cooperatives Working Together’s export assistance program has resulted in five bids being accepted for the sale of 1,537 metric tons of cheese to Japan and the Middle East.

On Jan. 16, CWT officials announced that one bid was accepted from WestFarm Foods of Seattle, Wash., whose bid was to export 19 metric tons of cheddar to Japan. The other four accepted bids came from Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, Mo., including one bid for 1,000 tons of cheddar to Saudi Arabia, two bids of 250 tons each of cheddar for sale to Jordan, and a fourth bid for 18 tons for sale to Japan. CWT will award export bonuses once completion of the cheese shipments is verified.

These accepted bids bring CWT’s total cheese exports so far in 2004 to 1,555 metric tons, or 3.42 million pounds.

CWT’s goal is to export about 30 million pounds of cheese and about 10 million pounds of butter — volumes equivalent to about 500 million pounds of milk — during the next five months.

The export assistance program compensates CWT members for selling cheese and butter to customers overseas. Only CWT member organizations are eligible to participate in the program. CWT awards export bonuses based on the lowest bid prices.

CWT will operate the export assistance program during those periods when the U.S. price of cheese is $1.30 per pound or less and $1.20 per pound or less for butter. The butter price level was recently increased by 10 cents per pound to reflect the higher butter prices of late.

For more information about CWT activities, visit the Web site:

Cooperatives Working Together