California milk jug bottle cap.
February 3, 2018

California Denies Hearing Request for Milk Price Increase

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Friday denied a request for a hearing to consider increasing California milk prices 35¢/cwt for the next 12 months. The request for the price increase was made by Western United Dairymen and the California Dairy Campaign.

In denying the request, Jeff Cesca, Director of CDFA’s Division of Marketing Services, said it is “inappropriate to held a hearing which California dairy producers are exercising self-determination with regards to implementing a Federal Milk Marketing Order in California.”

Cesca acknowledged the financial stress both dairy farmers and processors are under: “The Department is acutely aware of the impact to dairy families of sustained low milk prices caused by global milk production and ample dairy product supplies that are outpacing global market demand. It is also aware that dairy producer-owned and proprietary manufacturers of California dairy products are also under financial stress as evidenced the Department’s recently released manufacturing cost study.”

Western United Dairymen reacted to CDFA’s Secretary Karen Ross’s decision this way: “California producers have been facing negative margins for almost three years and many had sent her heartfelt and concerning messages through emails in the past week to confirm the dire situation. The Secretary finally made her decision today, unfortunately channeling the vibe from Punxsutawney Phil and announcing more weeks of bad prices for producers as she denied the hearing.”