Digest Highlights Dairy-RP activity surpasses 1.3 billion pounds of milk A2 milk advertising claims referred for review Hart Dairy expanding distribution to Asia AMPI upgrades Minnesota cheese plant Agropur: Canada first Saputo to acquire F&A Dairy Products Professional Dairy Producers Foundation grant application deadline is Dec. 1

Natzke dave
Editor / Progressive Dairy

Dairy-RP activity surpasses 1.3 billion pounds of milk

The Dairy Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP) program moved into the program’s third week, with the number of transactions slowing somewhat from the week before based on information from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA).

As of Oct. 29, 510 dairy producers had filed applications (Table 1). Leading states were: Wisconsin, 148; Idaho, 74; Washington, 42; Michigan, 43; and Minnesota, 39. (A reminder: Dairy producers apply for a Dairy-RP policy, but purchase coverage, called “endorsements,” on a quarterly basis.)

102918 natzke dairy rp

Of the applications, 122 quarterly endorsements had been purchased, covering 1.34 billion pounds of milk. Leading states in which dairy producers purchased quarterly endorsements were in: Wisconsin, 39; Idaho, 18; and Michigan, 13. South Dakota was unchanged at 11.

All but one of the endorsements was purchased at the 95 percent coverage level; the other was at 90 percent.


Largest milk volumes protected under the program were in Idaho and Wisconsin, followed by California and South Dakota.

Total premium costs on purchased endorsements were about $5.05 million, with USDA RMA subsidies covering about $2.1 million of that.

A2 milk advertising claims referred for review

The National Advertising Division (NAD) has referred advertising claims made by the a2 Milk Company (a2MC) to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further review.

The review was requested after a2MC declined to participate in a voluntary NAD review of advertising claims for its a2 Milk product. NAD, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureau.

The claims at issue were initially challenged by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). NMPF maintained that a2MC falsely promises consumers that its product is “easier on digestion” as compared to conventional milk and that consumers can “avoid digestive discomfort” and will “feel the difference.” NMPF also stated that a2MC falsely claims that conventional milk is likely to induce “painful bloating, wind, cramps, [gut] inflammation” and other uncomfortable symptoms.
 According to NMPF, the research underlying a2MC’s claims contains errors in study design, methodology, and population selection and is unreliable and clinically insignificant.

a2MC said its advertising claims comply with federal and state of California regulations. Further, the company said NMPF’s challenge fails to recognize recent research and asked NAD to close the matter.

A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing, and NAD does not endorse any company, product or service.

Read: The a2 Milk Company: Bringing people back to dairy

Hart Dairy expanding distribution to Asia

Georgia-based Hart Dairy has formed a joint venture with an Australian distribution company to market “100 percent free-range, grass-fed milk” in Asia.

The new company, Dairy Fresh New Zealand Ltd., brings together Hart Dairy and Kollaras & Co., a distribution company with more than 20,000 outlets in seven continents.

Located near Augusta, Georgia, Hart Dairy is a 4,000-acre, 3,500-cow pasture-based dairy operation. Its “Grass 365” dairy products include fresh milk, yogurt, cheese and butter varieties.

AMPI upgrades Minnesota cheese plant

Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) added equipment and technology to its cheese plant in Paynesville, Minnesota, boosting daily cheddar cheese production capacity to about 300,000 pounds.

In late October, Paynesville cheesemakers began production in seven new cheese vats. The new equipment is similar to that installed at AMPI’s Sanborn, Iowa, plant last December.

The project received financial assistance through an Agriculture Growth, Research and Innovation Value-Added grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Headquartered in New Ulm, Minnesota, AMPI is owned by dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota who market about 5.7 billion pounds of milk annually. It owns 10 Midwest-based manufacturing plants, producing and marketing cheese, butter and powdered dairy products to food service, retail and food ingredient customers.

Agropur: Canada first

Canada-based dairy cooperative Agropur has launched a publicity campaign to assure consumers its Natrel brand fluid milk and other products are produced with milk sourced from Canadian dairy farmers.

The campaign seeks to differentiate its products from a new entry in the Canadian market, fairlife. According to Agropur, fairlife – with milk sourced from the U.S. – is already being marketed in Canada under a special permit granted by the Canadian government in advance of a new trade agreement. The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, opening a segment of the Canadian market to some U.S. dairy products, is expected to be ratified early next year.

Agropur said milk used in all brands marketed in Canada are sourced from its 3,290 dairy farmer members.

Agropur has 39 plants in North America, including multiple cheese and dairy ingredient production facilities in the U.S.

David Weins, vice president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said his organization is also urging consumers to look for the organization’s “Quality Milk” logo on dairy product packaging.

Last June, Coca-Cola Canada and fairlife LLC announced a joint venture plan to build a fairlife ultrafiltered (UF) milk production facility in Peterborough, Ontario. Coca-Cola Canada will invest $85 million ($ Canada, or $65.7 million U.S. dollars), in the facility, scheduled to start operations in the first quarter of 2020. At the time, Coca-Cola Canada said it was working with Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) to supply milk for the facility.

Saputo to acquire F&A Dairy Products

Canada-based Saputo Inc. is adding to its U.S. cheese business portfolio, acquiring F&A Dairy Products for $85 million ($ U.S., or approximately $111 million in Canadian dollars). The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2018.

F&A Dairy Products has two manufacturing facilities, one in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the other in Dresser, Wisconsin. The company manufactures a variety of natural cheeses, including mozzarella and provolone, which are distributed in the U.S. and Mexico. F&A Dairy Products reported 12-month revenues of $163 million ($ U.S., or approximately $212 million in Canadian dollars) for the period ending Aug. 31, 2018.

Saputo ranks as one of the 10 largest dairy processors in the world, is the largest cheese manufacturer in Canada, the top dairy processor in Australia and the second largest dairy processor in Argentina. In the U.S., Saputo ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf life and cultured dairy products.

Professional Dairy Producers Foundation grant application deadline is Dec. 1

The deadline for the next round of Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) grants is Dec. 1.

The PDPF grants are available to nonprofit organizations with a tax status of 501(c)(3) or (5) seeking to provide unique dairy-related educational opportunities. Grants are for a maximum of $5,000.

Since 2010, PDPF has awarded about $250,000 in grants for youth leadership programs, farmer-led watershed initiatives, mentor programs, communications training, animal well-being programing, financial literacy, agricultural career days, safety and agricultural literacy education, and peer groups.

For additional information, visit the PDPF website or email PDPF Executive Director Deb Reinhart.  end mark

Dave Natzke