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Today the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board emphasized to dairy farmers and milk haulers the critical importance of returning to ASK LLP, as soon as possible, ordinary course of business declarations. The declarations and explanation are available on the Board’s website at https://www.mmb.pa.gov/Consumer/Pages/default.aspx. The Board developed the declarations, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office and ASK, to respond to avoidance claim settlement offers farmers and haulers received from ASK as part of the Dean Foods bankruptcy.
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, working with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office and ASK LLP, has developed declarations to respond to avoidance claim settlement offers received by Pennsylvania dairy farmers and milk haulers. The declarations, available on the Board’s website at https://www.mmb.pa.gov/Consumer/Pages/default.aspx, are a simple and standardized way for farmers and haulers to demonstrate that they received payments from Dean Foods in the ordinary course of their business with Dean. Dairy farmers and milk haulers should read the explanation on the Board’s website and return the appropriate declaration to ASK. We emphasize that it is vitally important that farmers and haulers return the completed declarations to ASK as soon as possible..
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board confirms that the former Dean Foods Company and its subsidiaries have paid
Pennsylvania independent dairy farmers all amounts owed for milk shipments to Dean Foods plants. Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2019. Dean Foods continued to pay dairy farmers during the bankruptcy proceedings. However, after the sale of Dean Foods assets was completed on April 30, 2020, the final payment for April milk was made late. Board audits have confirmed, though, that all independent Pennsylvania dairy farmers have now been paid.
At an April 23 Special Sunshine Meeting held via teleconference due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board approved an emergency order increasing the over-order premium for May and June 2020. The order essentially sets a Class I floor price of $15.00 and provides that the difference between the $15.00 floor and the announced Class I mover be added to the existing $1.00 per hundredweight over-order premium. For May, the over-order premium, including the $0.06 fuel adjuster, is $3.11 per hundredweight.
Closures of schools and restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to cause severe disruption in normal milk and milk product demand. Reports received by Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board staff indicate that some milk dealers are reacting to the demand disruption and loss of markets for packaged fluid milk and manufactured dairy products by telling farmers to dump their milk on the farm. Click
to view Bulletin.
Borden Dairy Company voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 6. Borden does not operate any dairy processing or manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania and does not purchase Pennsylvania producer milk. Even though Borden does sell some of its products in the western part of the state, the Board anticipates no direct impact on Pennsylvania’s dairy industry as a result of Borden’s bankruptcy filing.
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board issued an order on November 6, 2019, distributing the proceeds of Trickling Springs Creamery’s milk dealer bond. The bond proceeds of $453,749.40 will be distributed to the three producers who were not paid when Trickling Springs ceased operations at the end of September.
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board thanks Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania State Senate and House members for their bi-partisan effort in passing and signing into law the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, making $23.1 million in strategic investments in Pennsylvania agriculture. Among the investments, the PA Farm Bill expands Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program, which supports innovation, value-added processing, marketing, and organic transitions in the dairy industry. Pennsylvania dairy farmers are the backbone of Pennsylvania agriculture and the state’s rural economy. The Board anticipates an expanded Dairy Investment Program will therefore benefit not just Pennsylvania’s dairy industry, but Pennsylvania’s entire rural economy.
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board thanks Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) for introducing the Milk in Lunches for Kids Act. The MILK Act allows schools to serve whole milk and 2 percent milk. The MILK Act also requires the Secretary of Agriculture to revise regulations to exclude milk fat from the cap on saturated fat in school lunches.
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board will hold a public hearing on May 1, 2019, to consider an amendment to the Board’s regulations that would require cooperatives to provide a line item on member statements showing the amount of the over-order premium being paid. The hearing is in response to a petition filed by Representative John Lawrence (R-Chester/Lancaster).