California milk cap.
November 6, 2019

California Quota Foes Seek ‘Cease and Desist’ Order

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

While California dairy farmers continue to discuss options regarding the state’s quota plan, quota opponents have requested that the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) “immediately cease and desist” operating the program.

A letter from a law firm representing A.J. Box and STOP QIP was sent to CDFA last week, urging the cease and desist order because quota foes believe that the program “is merely voluntary and without the force of law.”

“We are concerned that once fees are collected and QIP monies distributed that it may be extremely difficult to or impossible to recover those fees,” write the attorneys. They say the program lacks the force of law because it is neither a part of an existing Pooling Plan nor was ever subjected to a legal public hearing as defined under California’s Administrative Procedures Act.

The letter writers do say they are supportive of the current process underway to find an equitable solution for both quota owners and now-owners. “However, if petitions, referendums and a lawsuit are to be avoided, industry needs to move with greater speed and not simply delay these critical discussions or a resolution,” they say. The quota foes requested CDFA respond before November 15.

For more detail on the quota foes letter, click here and to read the letter itself, click here.  

Meanwhile, Phase 2 producer meetings about the various options have wrapped up—with more to come. “The goal of Phase 2 is to narrow down the options to two or three specific proposals. It is anticipated that the next round of meetings will take place in early January,” says Geoff Vanden Heuvel, directory of regulatory and economic affairs for the California Milk Producers Council.

For more on the meetings, proposals and voting options, click here.