Dairy Report: Value of U.S. Dairy Exports Up, Blue Bell Pleads Guilty

Dairy Report 051220
A cargo ship loads containers for export. ( Farm Journal Media )

A bit of good news for the dairy industry, both the volume and value of U.S. dairy exports were up in March over last year. It represents the seventh straight month of positive growth.

March U.S. export volume was up 2% to more than 190,000 metric tons. That's the highest level since May 2018. The value of the exports was 592 million, up 10% from a year ago. On a total milk solids basis, exports represented just over 15% of U.S. milk production.

Blue Bell Pleads Guilty

You may remember a listeria outbreak involving Blue Bell ice cream that left three people dead.

  Now, Blue Bell Creameries has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanors. It will also pay 19.3 million dollars in fines. Contaminated ice cream was linked to 10 listeria cases in four states, with the three deaths happening in Kansas.

Federal prosecutors say the fines are the second largest ever paid in a food-safety case.