NMPF Lawsuit Reaches Settlement
A class-action lawsuit against the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and other processors has reached a settlement agreement. The suit alleges that the defendants (NMPF, Cooperatives Working Together, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’ Lakes, Dairylea Cooperative and Agri-Mark) engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to limit milk production in order to inflate prices of retail milk and milk products.
The lawsuit is a result of the defendants actively recruiting dairy producers to participate in the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) herd retirement program. As part of the program CWT accepted bids from farmers to participate in the program, and enrolled farmers then were paid for selling their herds to slaughter. The program operated from 2003 to 2010 and resulted in more than 500,000 cows removed from production and more than 9.6 billion pounds of milk being taken off of the market.
The settlement is for $52 million in recovery for class members. A hearing will be held on December 16, 2016 at the Northern District Court in Oakland, California where the judge will decide to approve the settlement or take other action.