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Unique flavors designed with
locale, consumers in mind

November 21, 2014

By Emily King

MADISON, Wis. — From beer to honey, cheesemakers around the nation are experimenting with added flavors. Very little is off limits — although not everything makes it to market.

“We research what is popular at the time and we experiment with a lot of things that don’t see the light of day,” says Francis Plowman, director of marketing, Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Ore. “A lot of what the final product results in is trying a lot of different things to get what you want.”

Sue Merckx, marketing director of retail at Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wis., says its master cheesemakers are constantly experimenting with new flavors to see what will and won’t work with the company’s cheese.

“This is a very involved process and can take years for a new product to be ready to go to market,” Merckx says. “The development of new products for our company is done on an ongoing basis. We also partner up with foodservice and retail accounts to explore items that they are looking for to fit in with their current product mix.”

Added flavors not only can give consumers new things to try — it can make a cheese more approachable.

“Sometimes (consumers) are not so sure about sheep’s milk cheeses, but if they taste basil for example, they are familiar with that flavor,” says Brenda Jensen, owner of Hidden Springs Creamery, a sheep’s milk cheese producer in Westby, Wis.

Merckx says educating consumers on all cheese products is key for growth in the specialty cheese category.

“The more people know and understand about a product, the more willing they are to purchase the product,” Merckx says. “One of the biggest challenges we see in the category is the ability of the consumer to decipher and understand what the differences are between all the cheese products that are being offered out to them. We continue to work with retailers in supplying them with tools on ways to educate consumers, promote, sample and merchandise our products.”

In 2013, Sartori released its Reserve Chai BellaVitano, which is its BellaVitano Gold base cheese hand-rubbed with a blend of black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves with chai.

“With that blend alone, we hit some of the major flavor trends for 2015,” Merckx says. “Unique bold flavors and fruity flavors are on trend, such as our Espresso, Chai and Merlot BellaVitano cheese items. Hot flavor or ingredients in 2015 include sweet/savory mixes and blended spices. Flavors such as chipotle, maple, cinnamon, ginger are starting to become trendy.”

Sartori released it Espresso BellaVitano cheese in 2011, which is its BellaVitano Gold hand rubbed with freshly ground Italian roast espresso beans.

“No other company had released a cheese like this, and the feedback we received from consumers was overwhelmingly positive,” Merckx says. “It’s now one of our best sellers.”

Rising Sun Farms, Phoenix, Ore., has been creating a line of Cheese Tortas with diverse and inventive flavors for retail and foodservice professionals for 30 years.

At one time, Rising Sun Farms had 12 different flavors of its signature Cheese Tortas, but the company decided to bring it down to nine so it was more manageable.

The most popular of its torta line are the Pesto Dried Tomato Torta and the Gorgonzola Cheese Torta. The Pesto Dried Tomato Torta starts with a base of Rising Sun Farms’ hormone-free cream cheese, then is blended with Parmesan and Romano cheeses, followed by a layer of nut-free pesto and topped with sweet and tart dried tomatoes. The Gorgonzola Cheese Torta is a blend of cream cheese and Gorgonzola, sweet pears, and dried cranberries, topped with toasted hazelnuts and cranberries.

At Rogue Creamery, local partnerships have driven the company’s cheese creations.

“We’ve been doing beer cheese for a long time,” Plowman says. “We released our Chocolate Stout Cheddar in 2004. It uses Newport, Ore.-based Rogue Ales & Spirits’ beer. We’ve done about 10 since then; four have been with Rogue Ales’ beers, and we have a Cheddar made with Morimoto Soba Ale, also brewed by Rogue Ales.”

During the company’s 80th anniversary last year, Rogue Creamery partnered with Rogue Ales & Spirits to create an Imperial Brown Ale made with 13 different ingredients. The creamery then used this special ale in its 80th Anniversary Ale Cheese.

“It’s always a lot of trial and error,” Plowman says. “It took us a year to figure out the best kind of hops when we partnered with Rogue Ales to make our anniversary cheese.”

Rogue Creamery’s beer Cheddar has found a niche with a younger crowd who has grown up with more cheese choices than there used to be, which has taken pairing to another level, Plowman says.

As a result of Rogue Creamery’s partnership with Rogue Ales & Spirits, the company also had opportunities to work with other beermakers — mostly within Oregon — but with breweries in Virginia and Delaware as well. Its largest partnership remains with Rogue Ales & Spirits.

Rogue Creamery works hard to put as much effort as it can into local businesses, Plowman adds.

An area chef inspired Rogue’s Smokey Blue Cheese — the first of its kind, Plowman says.

“We’re very successful with the Smokey Blue Cheese. It won the Innovation Award in Paris at the 2006 SIAL,” Plowman adds. “Traditionally lower-quality cheese is smoked, but we decided to turn that on its ear to see what would happen if we smoked first-quality cheese.”

The Smokey Blue Cheese is cold-smoked over shells from Oregon hazelnuts, which infuses Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue cheese with an added layer of rich flavor and terroir, the company says.

The idea for Rogue Creamery’s Cacow Belle Cheese, a chocolate Cheddar cheese developed for Valentine’s Day that remained a staple in its lineup, came from its own property.

“We have a retail shop and world-class chocolaterie called Lillie Belle Farms Artisan Chocolates on the property,” Plowman says. “We partnered with them to create Cacow, which is a combination of eight spices and organic chocolate with our Cheddar.”

Jensen also endeavors to keep her product and flavors local and derives ideas from her environment.

“I try to use flavors and ingredients from my area,” she says. “Most are within 50 miles of our farm, except for olive oil.”

Hidden Springs Creamery’s Driftless Maple combines natural maple syrup from a neighboring Amish family with its sheep’s milk cheese.

“I really like to use local, interesting, and not too overwhelming flavors,” Jensen says.

Meanwhile, artisan honey from a Driftless-area beekeeper and lavender were combined to create Driftless Honey and Lavender.

For inspiration, Rising Sun Farms looks to its customers for ideas and requests. Some, such as a turkey-flavored torta, may not make its way to production, but many others have.

Certain flavors are notably more popular within specific demographics, says Sheila McRoy, national sales manager, Rising Sun Farms. For example, the Marionberry Cheese Torta is a showcase of Oregon, and is extremely popular with the residents of the Northwest. The Marionberry Torta is comprised of blackberries from Marion County, Ore., and apricots from the state’s orchards blended with dried cranberries and cream cheese, and topped with dried cranberries and hazelnuts — Oregon’s state nut.

Sartori seeks feedback from its consumers as well.

“During demos, we’re able to talk with consumers, get feedback, answer questions about the product and tell them our story,” Merckx says. “It’s important for consumers to understand what we do and why we do it.”

Flavors processed by Rising Sun Farms are designed to highlight the base cheese, but it is the combination of the ingredients used that make the product, McRoy says.

“We’ve perfected the balance in our formula,” she says.

Jensen says for all of her products the cheese rules. She wants the texture and flavor of the cheese itself to come through.

“For us the cheese comes first and the treatment is more of a ‘wow’ factor — an enhancement to the cheese,” Merckx says. “Our goal is to create new cheese items that are unique, yet will appeal to people ages 8-80.”

An extensive amount of calibration takes place in the creation of Rogue Creamery’s flavored cheeses.

After the cheesemakers fine-tune a new cheese, everyone at Rogue Creamery tastes the cheese.
“The judge is our team,” Plowman says. “But the consumer is the ultimate judge.”

Plowman adds that Rogue Creamery has a tradition that began with its establishment in the 1930s. The original owners trained the subsequent owners and cheesemakers that the consumer should taste the Cheddar first, and then whatever flavoring there is.

“I think it’s the evolution of everything,” Plowman says. “Plain and original cheese just isn’t enough. There’s a culture revolving around what’s new. We do shows all over the world, and we’re always asked what is new or different. You have to do the flavors to get attention.”

Merckx says as the marketplace has globalized and people become more educated about what they eat, there is an increase of more unique and specialized products.

“Consumers are starting to look at cheese with more intrigue and want to incorporate it into their daily lives,” Merckx says. “They want cheese as a snack during the day, then to be used in their dinner dishes, and also to be the hit at their entertainment parties. Consumers are moving away from processed cheese and looking for more artisan, ‘American original’ cheeses. They are looking for the next best thing they can share with their friends.”


Trade negotiations progress,
but dairy challenges remain

November 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — Government leaders of participating countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing earlier this month. Although a time line for conclusion was not announced, they released a statement saying that the countries see “the end coming into focus” and included instructions to negotiators to “make concluding this agreement a top priority.”

Between the United States and Japan, dairy still is a challenge in the market access chapter and may continue to be so, notes the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Japan’s economy recently slid into a recession, and Prime Minister Abe announced national elections next month. IDFA notes this could be the kick that propels much-needed reforms within Japan, but it also could complicate and slow down the TPP negotiations.

IDFA continues to press for a comprehensive agreement that includes real market access for all dairy products, across all tariff lines. Improving access to the Japanese and Canadian markets for U.S. dairy products remains a high priority, IDFA says.

IDFA, along with 200 other business and agriculture groups, signed a coalition letter to Congress last week asking for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a legislative tool to advance trade negotiations, by the end of this year. The letter notes that “Congressional action on TPA is needed to help ensure high-standard outcomes in the TPP negotiations,” as well as other agreements that are currently being negotiated such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), a new trade initiative focused exclusively on service industries.

IDFA notes passage of TPA is unlikely in the lame duck session of Congress, but with the change in the leadership of the Senate, there is an opportunity in the first quarter of 2015 for the legislation to come up for a vote.

Meanwhile, since the seventh round of negotiations in early October, TTIP talks have lagged between the European Union (EU) and the United States. However, the new EU trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman late this week in Brussels, Belgium, and Malmstrom and Froman are expected to take stock of the negotiations in December in Washington, D.C.

In a speech Wednesday at The Wilson Center in Washington, Froman said TTIP will not only break down run-of-the-mill barriers such as tariffs and traditional non-tariff barriers, it also will work to try and bring two well-regulated markets closer together.

“That will allow us not only to trade more with each other, but to work with each other to raise the bar around the world,” Froman says. “TTIP will allow us to be standard-setters rather than standard-takers.”

In other trade news, after 10 years of negotiations, Australia earlier this week announced the conclusion of a free trade agreement with China. Key outcomes of the agreement include the removal of all tariffs on Australian dairy products exported to China within four to 11 years, IDFA notes.

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) welcomed the deal with China, saying “the FTA will strengthen Australian dairy’s competitiveness by providing our industry with a significant advantage compared to other countries in the market that do not have a FTA with China.”

After a legal scrub and translation of the text, the two countries are expected to sign the agreement in 2015.


Production per cow hits record levels in October

November 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — Milk production in the 23 major milk-producing states during October totaled 16.05 billion pounds, up 3.9 percent from October 2013, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Milk Production chart.)

September revised production in the 23 major states, at 15.51 billion pounds, was up 4.3 percent from September 2013. The September revision represents an increase of 22 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

NASS says total U.S. milk production in October is estimated at 17.10 billion pounds, up 3.8 percent from October 2013. NASS says there were an estimated 9.28 million dairy cows on U.S. farms in October, 4,000 head more than a month earlier and 77,000 head more than a year earlier. Average production per cow in the United States is estimated at 1,842 pounds in October, 52 pounds more than in October 2013.

In the 23 major milk-producing states, production per cow averaged 1,868 pounds in October, 51 pounds above October 2013. This is the highest production per cow for the month of October since the 23-state series began in 2003, NASS says.

The number of dairy cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.59 million head, 89,00 head more than in October 2013 and 3,000 head more than in September 2014.

California led the nation’s milk production with 3.43 billion pounds in October, up 2.7 percent from its production a year earlier. The gain came from increased productivity as NASS reports production per cow in California was up 50 pounds from October 2013 to 1,925 pounds in 2014 while cow numbers were unchanged from a year earlier. According to NASS, there were 1.78 million cows on California farms in October, up 1,000 head from the previous month.

Wisconsin followed with 2.34 billion pounds of milk in October, up 2.4 percent from its production a year earlier. Production per cow was up 45 pounds from a year earlier to 1,840 pounds, NASS reports. There were 1.27 million cows on Wisconsin farms in October, unchanged from the previous month and 2,000 head lower than a year earlier.


U.S. cheese among top
World Cheese Award winners

November 21, 2014

LONDON — Three U.S. cheeses were major trophy winners at the 2014 World Cheese Awards held in London Nov. 14-16. The largest competition of its type in the world, the World Cheese Awards drew more than 2,600 cheeses from 33 different countries.

Bandage Wrapped Cheddar made by Fiscalini Cheese Co., Modesto, Calif., won the trophy
for “Best Mature Traditional Cheddar Cheese” sponsored by The Truckle Cheese Co. Sartori Reserve Kentucky Bourbon BellaVitano from Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wis., won the trophy for “Best Overseas Additive Cheese” sponsored by Windyridge Innovative Artisan Cheese. And Bayley Hazen Blue from Jasper Hill Farm, entered by Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vt., earned the trophy for “World’s Best Unpasteurized Cheese” sponsored by John Webb.

The World Champion trophy at this year’s contest went to Bath Blue made by Bath Soft Cheese, Kelston, England.

Several U.S. cheeses also made it into the top 62 cheeses of the contest, earning a “Super Gold.” In addition to the trophy winners, other U.S. cheesemakers who earned Super Golds include:

• Baetje Farms LLC, Bloomdale, Mo., for Bloomsdale;

• Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata, Calf., for Truffle Tremor;

• Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton, Vt., for Bismark and Shepsog;

• Emmi Roth USA, Monroe, Wis., for Grand Cru Surchoix;

• Marin French Cheese, Petaluma, Calif., for Supreme; and

• Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Ore., Caveman Blue.

A number of U.S. cheesemakers also earned gold, silver and bronze medals for cheeses in their respective categories:

• Arthur Schuman Inc., Fairfield, N.J., won silver medals for its Cello Riserva Copper Kettle Parmesan, Cello Riserva Hand Crafted Asiago and Cello Thick and Smooth Mascarpone.

• The Artisan Cheese Exchange, Sheboygan, Wis., won a silver medal for Deer Creek The Stag and a bronze for Deer Creek The Winter Buck.

• Barinaga Ranch, Marshall, Calif., earned a silver medal for its Txiki.

• Beehive Cheese Co. LLC, Uintah, Utah, won bronze medals for its Barely Buzzed, Promontory and Apple Walnut Smoked Promontory.

• Belfiore Cheese Co., Berkeley, Calif., won a bronze medal for Belfiore Mediterranean-style Feta.

• Bleating Heart Cheese, Tomales, Calif., won bronze medals for its Shepherdista, Ewelicious Blue and Buff Blue.

• Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Grantsburg, Wis., won bronze medals for its Provolone and Plain String Cheese.

• Carr Valley Cheese Co. Inc., La Valle, Wis., earned a bronze medal for its Black Sheep Truffle.

• Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vt., earned gold medals for Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and Moses Sleeper from Jasper Hill Farm, silver medals for Oma from von Trapp Farmstead and Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm, and bronze medals for Kinsman Ridge from Landaff Creamery and Weybridge from Scholten Family Farm.

• Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata, Calif., won gold medals for its Humboldt Fog mini and Midnight Moon, a silver for its Herbs de Humboldt and a bronze for PsycheDillic.

• Di Stefano Cheese, Pomona, Calif., won a gold medal for its Fresh Mozzarella 8-ounce.

• Emmi Roth USA, Monroe, Wis., won gold medals for Roth Havarti and Grand Cru Reserve, silver medals for Grand Cru Original and Monticello Reserve, and a bronze medal for Roth’s Private Reserve.

• FireFly Farms, Accident, Md., won a gold medal for its Bella Vita and bronze medals for its Allegheny Chevre and Mountain Top Blue.

• Harley Farms Goat Dairy, Pescadero, Calif., earned a gold medal for its Monet.

• Joseph Gallo Farms, Maker of Joseph Farms Cheese, Atwater, Calif., earned a bronze medal for its Reduced Fat Monterey Jack.

• Lactalis American Group, Buffalo, N.Y., won bronze medals for its Whole Milk Milk-Based Ricotta and Whole Milk Whey-Based Ricotta.

• Laura Chenel’s Chevre, Sonoma, Calif., won silver medals for its Crottin, Taupiniere and Cabecou and a bronze for Chef’s Chevre.

• Leelanau Cheese Co., Suttons Bay, Mich., won a gold medal and a bronze medal for its Aged Raclette.

• Lioni Latticini Inc., Union, N.J., won a bronze medal for Lioni Burrata Con Panna.

• Marin French Cheese, Petaluma, Calif., won a silver medal for its Schloss and a bronze medal for its Triple Creme Brie 1-pound.

• Old Chatham Sheepherding Co., Old Chatham, N.Y., earned a gold medal for Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert.

• Orland Farmstead Creamery, Orland, Calif., won a gold medal for its Fromage Blanc.

• Rivers Edge Chevre LLC, Logsden, Ore., won bronze medals for its Valsetz and Up in Smoke.

• Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Ore., won a bronze medal for its Echo Mountain Blue.

• Sartori Co., Plymouth, Wis., won gold medals for Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano, Sartori Reserve Chai BellaVitano and Sartori Limited Edition Cinnamon BellaVitano, silver medals for Sartori Limited Edition Extra-Aged Goat, Sartori X, Sartori Reserve BellaVitano Gold, Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano, Sartori Reserve Rum Runner BellaVitano, Sartori Reserve Balsamic BellaVitano and Sartori Reserve Merlot BellaVitano, and bronze medals for Sartori Reserve Pastorale Blend, Sartori Reserve Rosemary & Olive Oil and Sartori Limited Edition Cognac BellaVitano.

• Vermont Creamery, Websterville, Vt., earned a gold medal for its Bijou; and bronze medals for its Fresh Crottin, Spreadable Goat Cheese, Fresh Goat Cheese Chevre, Coupole, Vanilla Creme Fraiche, Cremont and Fromage Blanc.



Italian heritage, focus on quality products set Lioni Latticini apart

By Kate Sander

UNION, N.J. — Making traditional fresh Mozzarella isn’t about profit margins at Lioni Latticini Inc. -— it’s about making products that are true to tradition and quality-focused.

Operated by the Salzarulo family, Lioni Latticini is the outgrowth of tradition that began in the town of Lioni, Italy, many decades ago. In 1980, the family brought its art of cheesemaking to Brooklyn, N.Y., when Giuseppe Salzarulo, who had lived in the United States for a few years, joined forces with his nephew Salvatore Salzarulo, who had recently immigrated, to make the fresh, whole milk Mozzarella they knew so well.

“My uncle and my father breathe and embrace their Italian tradition,” says Teresa Salzarulo Conforte, director of operations and Salvatore Salzarulo’s daughter. “In so doing, they have passed their beliefs and cheesemaking practices to the next generation. They take pride in perfecting and delivering that simple food ingredient that they know as the Mozzarella.

“Everything is done from the heart,” Conforte adds. “It’s a lifestyle for them. They want customers to experience what we have in our own homes.

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CME cheese price plummets; analysts expect more volatility

November 14, 2014

By Alyssa Mitchell

MADISON, Wis. — Cheddar prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) plummeted Tuesday, a move long-anticipated by dairy market analysts who have been scratching their heads at the long-term gap between U.S. and global prices.

“The question is not so much ‘why now’ — it’s why did cheese shoot up to $2.20 again in the last month?” says Mike McCully, owner of The McCully Group LLC, Chicago.

CME Cheddar blocks fell 21.25 cents Oct. 23 to $2.1575 per pound from $2.37, but in the following weeks managed to rally back to $2.20 by Nov. 6. Cheddar barrels also showed weakness in mid-October, falling as low as $1.9225 per pound Oct. 24, but also recovered a bit to reach $2.16 Nov. 5.

However, both blocks and barrels had steep declines this week, falling 18 cents and 17.25 cents, respectively, on Tuesday, and falling further to settle at $1.9425 and $1.9150, respectively, as of Friday.

“The severity of the drop was a little more than I anticipated, but the fact that it came down was not surprising,” says Bill Brooks, dairy economist with FCStone, Chicago.

Sara Dorland, managing partner with Ceres Dairy Risk Management LLC, Seattle, notes that while no one is fond of a large drop like that seen on Tuesday, long, agonizing movement down over several weeks keeps buyers cautious.

“A drop like this gets things moving, and we may see some buying pick up now,” she says.
USDA’s Dairy Market News notes some Midwest cheese plants are operating near capacity and also are fortifying vats with nonfat dry milk (NDM).

“This has resulted in a situation where increasingly cheese supplies are being viewed as long as holiday orders move closer to being filled,” Dairy Market News says. “Buyers have been adding to inventories lately, but recent CME activity reflects sellers with extra blocks and barrels finding less buyer interest than expected. The weaker buyer interest has surprised some cheese sellers.”

However, continued volatility is expected in the marketplace as lower prices may bring more buyers back to the table, resulting in another price bump, Brooks says.

“It’s a sideways market right now,” he says. “I don’t think this is the beginning of a straight downward trend yet.”

McCully agrees that cheese is likely to be well-supported through December.

“I think it will be near $2, give or take a dime,” he says.

Andrew Novakovic, E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, notes that tight U.S. supplies and a lack of imports due to various global fundamentals helped to support U.S. cheese and butter prices this year.

“International markets are certainly an important factor (in our price), and perhaps we should look at them as a dominating factor. However, while what was happening in the U.S. managed to trump the gap between U.S. and world prices for some time, clearly a day of reckoning was going to come,” he says.

Novakovic notes that CME futures indicate further price weakness ahead for both butter and cheese.
Class III and Class IV milk futures on Wednesday showed prices for Class III falling from $21.64 per hundredweight this month to $16.60 per hundredweight by April of next year, and Class IV, at $17.60 in November, falling to $16.19 by December and into the $15.00s early next year.

Novakovic notes butter still stands approximately $1 above international prices.

CME butter dipped below $2 per pound this week, settling at $1.9875 per pound as of Friday. Butter previously had fallen below $2 at the end of October, settling as low as $1.77 Oct. 28, but bumped up over $2 last week before the declines seen this week.

McCully notes that some were surprised by the timing of the steeper butter price drop seen last month, but it brought more buyers back to the market.

“Retailers who were anticipating $3 butter were more interested in doing features and promotions with it closer to the $2 level,” he says.

However, he says butter has “a short fuse” right now and could soon drop into the $1.70s.

Dorland says that, in her opinion, CME futures are currently casting “a rosy picture” for butter prices in the months ahead compared to what she anticipates.

“Futures show butter in the $1.70s, while European butter is in the $1.60s and New Zealand is at $1.10,” she says. “I think we can expect to move closer to the European price.”

Meanwhile, NDM continues a weaker downward trend, perhaps the commodity most in line with its global counterparts. Still, while NDM at the CME was at $1.18 per pound as of Friday, McCully notes that with the European milk powder price near $1, “it’s indicative of what’s happening in the milk powder market, and I think that will continue to put pressure on cheese and butter prices as well.”

Market activity for NDM is light with buyers not wanting to expand inventories in a downward trending market, Dairy Market News says.

“Export demand has weakened as global milk production and processing has increased, expanding global supplies of competing milk powders,” Dairy Market News says. “The market undertone is weak.”

Dorland notes that a lot of what helped to buoy U.S. dairy prices the past couple of years were strong export numbers.

“As we look to the first quarter of 2015 and our prices compared to world prices, we need to come down to be more competitive,” she says.

USDA’s Dairy Market News notes that butter export orders also currently are “lackluster” given higher U.S. butter prices compared to competing global markets.

“A key question is definitely whether we will gain back some ground on export markets in 2015,” Novakovic says.


Agropur announces $55 million expansion in Weyauwega, Wis.

November 14, 2014

LONGUEUIL, Quebec — Agropur Inc. is investing more than $55 million in its Weyauwega, Wis., facility to increase its Feta cheese production capacity.

“There is a lot of tradition, skill and work ethic among our employees, and we are recognized in the market for having high-quality products,” says Doug Simon, president, USA Cheese Business Unit, Agropur. “We are a leader in Feta cheese production, and this will allow us to maintain that leadership position. We are very excited about this investment and in the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry as it provides employment opportunities and a stable home for milk produced in the area.”

Agropur CEO Robert Coallier adds that the investment “truly shows how committed we are to establishing our leadership in the U.S. market and to the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry.”
The expansion, now underway, is to be completed in 2016. It is expected to create about 22 new jobs.

“I congratulate Agropur and applaud them for deciding to embark on this major expansion in Wisconsin,” says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “Not only is Wisconsin the top cheese-producing state in the country, but the state has an international reputation for quality dairy products. The expansion will help to further that reputation.”

To help ensure that the Canadian company expanded in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) is providing Agropur with $1.65 million in Economic Development Tax Credits over the next few years. In order to receive the full credits, Agropur must retain its existing 146 jobs at the facility, create 22 new jobs and invest at least $55 million in capital investment.

“WEDC is pleased to be able to assist Agropur in strengthening its already strong position in the dairy industry and cheese production,” says Reed Hall, secretary and CEO, WEDC. “Wisconsin produces so much cheese that if the state was a country, it would rank fourth in the world in total cheese production behind the United States, Germany and France.”


Judge dismisses consumer
lawsuit against Darigold Inc.

November 14, 2014

By Alyssa Mitchell

SEATTLE — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused Northwest dairy cooperative Darigold Inc./Northwest Dairy Association of misleading consumers about its treatment of cattle and employees.

Earlier this year, plaintiffs Yesenia Ruiz and Fernanda Dorantes filed a complaint against Darigold alleging that the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR) casts its treatment of workers and cows in a positive light when they are mistreated, plaintiffs say.

The plaintiffs allege that Darigold misrepresented the conditions under which its products were produced and that the plaintiffs relied on false assurances of ethical treatment for cows and workers when they chose to purchase Darigold products.

“Darigold markets and sells its milk and dairy products as if they were produced in an environment that places utmost care on animal health, food safety and labor protections for its employees,” plaintiffs say in the complaint filed May 5, 2014. “In reality, however, some of Darigold’s milk is produced under conditions where dairy cows are injured and sick, where despite suffering from bloody and swollen udders, cows are still milked, and where workers are denied the most basic labor protections, such as drinkable water, lunch rooms, meal and rest periods, and an environment free of discrimination.”

The plaintiffs allege that Darigold misrepresents these situations in its 2010 CSR and in other publicity.

However, in an Order of Dismissal issued Nov. 3, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik rules that the plaintiffs’ interpretation of the CSR is unreasonable because Darigold acknowledges shortcomings and does not claim to be flawless.

“While there may be one or two statements in the 60-page report in which Darigold expresses satisfaction with its performance and fails to explicitly incorporate by reference the caveats and problems mentioned elsewhere, a reasonable consumer would not be deceived or misled into believing Darigold or its member farms had a perfect track record on worker rights or animal health,” Lasnik says.

The plaintiffs allege that they relied on Darigold’s statements when choosing to purchase Darigold products. In early 2014, the plaintiffs learned that workers at one of Darigold’s member dairies had sued their employer for violations of Washington’s wage and labor laws. Ruiz also alleges that she discovered that unspecified “questions have been raised about the treatment of workers and animals at Darigold member facilities.”

Both plaintiffs stopped buying Darigold products and allege that they would not have purchased them had Darigold been honest about the conditions in which its products were produced.

“The gist of plaintiffs’ complaint is that the 2010 CSR misled consumers into believing that (a) all Darigold employees and all workers at the 500-plus member dairies were treated well, with respect, and in full compliance with the law and (b) every cow that contributed milk to Darigold for processing was healthy,” the dismissal order says. “A fair reading of the 2010 CSR would not support such beliefs, however, and a reasonable consumer reading the report would not be misled in the way plaintiffs allege.

“The court finds that, as a matter of law, plaintiffs’ payment for the milk products consumed and Darigold’s retention of that money were not unjust,” the order says.

“Although plaintiffs request an opportunity to amend if their claims are dismissed, they do not identify any additional facts that could be alleged to overcome the fact that the 2010 CSR cannot reasonably be read as a representation that all workers and animals involved in the production of Darigold’s products are treated well, with respect and in compliance with all laws,” the judge says. “Absent some indication of what additional facts plaintiffs might plead to overcome this hurdle, it is very difficult to determine whether an amended pleading would fare any better than the current complaint. The court is therefore loathe to grant leave to amend outright. Instead, plaintiffs will be given 30 days in which to file a motion for leave to amend that is supported by a proposed amended pleading. If a motion for leave to amend is not filed in the time provided, judgment will be entered in favor of defendants and against plaintiffs.”

Steven Rowe, general counsel and senior vice president of corporate affairs, Darigold Inc., says Darigold is very pleased with the dismissal order and the court’s reading of the cooperative’s efforts to report on the company’s and cooperative’s sustainability journey.

“This is one of the strongest dismissal orders I’ve ever seen,” he says. “I’m very pleased with the court’s opinion and that the court not only read the complaint but also our CSR. We’re very pleased and happy at their finding that this complaint is unmerited.”

Mario Martinez, the plaintiffs’ attorney at Marcos Camacho, A Law Corp., Bakersfield, Calif., says consumers across the nation have been “horrified” to learn of ongoing reports of animal and worker abuse at Darigold member farms.

“Given this increased consumer concern and demand for fair treatment of workers and animals, there is a growing call for Darigold to work with workers and third parties to resolve this issue immediately,” Martinez says. “While plaintiffs are disappointed with the judge’s ruling, the ruling does not change the fact that consumers are demanding changes from Darigold. Re-filing of the complaint is certainly a possibility that is being explored, as plaintiffs and their counsel strongly believe in the claims brought before the court.”


GMO labeling measures fail in Colorado, Oregon

November 14, 2014

By Emily King

WASHINGTON — Colorado and Oregon rejected ballot initiatives requiring the labeling of foods produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) during the 2014 election. Meanwhile, Maui County, Hawaii, approved a temporary ban on GMO crop cultivation and Humboldt County, Calif., voted to ban genetically engineered (GE) crops from being grown in the county.

Colorado’s Proposition 105 would have required food companies to label packaged foods with the text “produced with genetic engineering” if they contained derivatives of GMO crops. The initiative failed, with 66 percent voting against it and 34 percent in favor.

According to Ballotpedia, those in support of Proposition 105 donated $625,968 and those in opposition donated $12.7 million as of Oct. 27.

A similar initiative was defeated in Oregon, but by a much narrower margin. Oregon’s Measure 92 stated that food labels would need to include the words “genetically engineered.” The statute was narrowly defeated, with 50.5 percent voting against it and 49.5 voting for the measure.

In Oregon, those in opposition to Measure 92 donated $16.3 million, while those in support donated $9.0 million, Ballotpedia says.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF) say they are satisfied with these ballot outcomes.

“We are pleased that the voters of Colorado and Oregon both rejected these mandatory GMO labeling measures,” says Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, GMA. “These sorts of state-based GMO labeling proposals would provide consumers with incomplete and inaccurate information, only serving to misinform and mislead them.”

GMA, along with CFSAF, support the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which they say would eliminate consumer uncertainty created by a state-by-state patchwork of labeling laws, advance food safety, inform consumers and provide consistency in labeling.

CFSAF provides the public with information about ingredients grown through genetic modification technology. The coalition is comprised of American farmers and representatives from a group of industry and non-governmental organizations, including the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation.

The legislation would require the FDA to approve all new GMO ingredients before they are brought to market and establishes federal standards for companies that wish to voluntarily label their products for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.

“It’s time to give consumers what they deserve — a consistent, national framework for food labeling that is based on science, not politics,” says Claire Parker, spokesperson, CFSAF. “Consumers have a right to reliable information and a uniform labeling standard that is regulated by experts at the FDA.”

CFSAF says studies have shown that mandated GMO labeling would increase grocery prices for consumers by hundreds of dollars per year as food companies are forced to construct multiple supply streams, design new labels, acquire additional warehouse space and create new transportation routes.

Proponents for GE and GMO labeling have appealed to FDA as well. The Center for Food Safety (CFS), an environmental, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., submitted a formal legal petition to FDA in 2011 demanding the mandatory labeling of GE foods, although neither proposal to the FDA has seen any advance, according to CFS.

During elections in Maui County, Hawaii, voters chose — in a margin barely more than 1,000 votes — to support an initiative to prohibit the growth, testing or cultivation of GE crops in Maui County until an environmental and public health study can show they are safe.
CFS says opposition to the initiative was almost exclusively backed by Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical.

“Our victory today sends a strong message to the agrochemical industry in Hawaii,” says Ashley Lukens, program director, Hawaii Center for Food Safety. “Community members will not sit idly by and watch these companies threaten the health and safety of our people and our planet. Voters saw past the misleading claims of pesticide companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical and demanded accountability to the community.”

California’s Humboldt County became the seventh county in the state to vote in support of banning GE crops from being grown within the county. The Humboldt County Genetic Contamination Prevention Ordinance (Measure P) was approved by 59 percent of county voters, according to CFS.



Republicans take control of U.S. Senate;
ag leaders to shift

November 7, 2014

By Alyssa Mitchell

WASHINGTON — With Tuesday’s elections resulting in a shift of Senate control from Democrats to Republicans, as well as a stronger Republican majority in the House, dairy industry stakeholders are looking ahead to the prospects for key legislation as well as committee leadership in 2015.

Though pundits had predicted that Republicans would win seats in the House and Senate this year, the margin of victory came as a surprise, says the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). Even with several races still to be called, Republicans secured more than enough seats in the Senate to take control of the upper chamber in the 114th Congress.

As of now, Republicans will have a minimum of 52 seats when the Senate convenes in January. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to be the new Senate Majority Leader, succeeding Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has held the position for the past seven years. Races in Virginia and Alaska have not been officially called, and the race for the Louisiana seat will come down to a Dec. 6 run-off election.

“Congratulations to Sen. Mitch McConnell and to all of the candidates who won victories in the midterm elections,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The result of this year’s elections are critical to the business community — and the restaurant industry — on key issues including health care, tax reform and creating a regulatory environment that creates opportunities for businesses to grow.”

Dave Carlin, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, IDFA, notes that even with the Senate seat gains, Republicans do not have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, so compromise will still be essential to moving legislation forward.

Meanwhile, in the House, Republicans gained at least 12 seats, increasing their total to 243 and earning their biggest majority since World War II, IDFA notes. Several races in the House also remain too close to call.

Both the Obama administration and key Republican leaders this week expressed a desire to work together.

“What stands out to me, is that the American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done,” Obama says.

Obama says he has “a unique responsibility” to make Washington work. In that vein, he plans to host Democratic and Republican leadership at the White House today for a meeting to chart a new course forward.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says that Republicans are humbled by the responsibility the American people have placed with them and that this is not a time for celebration.

“It’s time for government to start getting results and implementing solutions to the challenges facing our country, starting with our still-struggling economy,” Boehner says.

“Americans can expect the new Congress to debate and vote soon on the many common-sense jobs and energy bills that passed the Republican-led House in recent years with bipartisan support but were never even brought to a vote by the outgoing Senate majority,” he says.

McConnell says Republicans have an obligation to work together on issues where they can agree with Democrats.

“I think we have a duty to do that,” he says. “Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict. I think I have shown that to be true at critical times in the past. I hope the president gives me a chance to show it again.”

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Association (AFBF), says some will debate the meaning of Tuesday’s election, but this much is clear to AFBF: “Americans want — our farmers and ranchers need — common-sense governance and a halt to the punishing regulatory overreach that ignores the law and the courts.

“The nation, too, has grown weary of extremists who offer little more than disinformation and misguided ballot initiatives at the state level,” Stallman says. “Americans want elected leaders who work together to find solutions to move our country forward. AFBF looks forward to working with all our elected officials on issues that matter most to America’s farm and ranch families and all Americans who rely on them for their food.”

Agriculture committee leadership will shift in both chambers in 2015. In the Senate, Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is projected to take control as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, succeeding Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

“We’ve always had a good, strong relationship with Roberts,” Carlin says. “He knows the issues well.”

With House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas, R-Okla., reaching the end of his term as committee chair, reports say a potential replacement is Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, current chair of the general farm commodities and risk management subcommittee.

John Hollay, vice president of government relations for the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), says he is pleased that Congressman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., emerged victorious in a close race as he has been an advocate for dairy policy reform throughout the farm bill process.

He adds that other Congress members NMPF has worked with over the years, including Reps. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., and Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., also retained their seats in Tuesday’s election.

“Experienced staffers always bode well for dairy policy or any issue,” Hollay says. “One of the challenges with the farm bill this last time around was that a lot of lawmakers were voting on it for the first time.”

Looking ahead, Hollay says it’s likely Congress will first address the budget in the lame duck session. A continuing resolution funding the federal government is set to expire in December.

He notes that tax credits set to expire this year need to be renewed as part of the Tax Extenders Package Congress will take up in the lame duck.

Hollay notes Section 179 tax credits allow businesses including farms to deduct the full purchase price of a qualifying piece of equipment from their gross income. Currently, that amount is capped at $25,000, down from $500,000 in 2013.

“Congressional action is expected to increase the amount back to $500,000 for both 2014 and 2015,” Hollay says. “NMPF has been part of a coalition of industries pushing for the expansion of Section 179 tax credits and a return to the higher deduction.”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), says NFU also will strongly pursue the extension of expiring tax provisions for small business expensing.

Both Hollay and Carlin say they are optimistic that there will be cooperation moving forward between Republicans and Democrats to advance legislation.

“Voters have made it clear they want compromise, and I think we have an opportunity to get things done,” Hollay says.

“I think we’re in a position to see the president work across the aisle with the other party and for the parties also to work across the aisle with each other,” Carlin says.

In 2015, dairy stakeholders are hopeful that the 114th Congress will begin to make forward progress on immigration reform, trade issues and school nutrition reauthorization.

In particular, school nutrition reauthorization is set to expire in the fall and will need to be considered, Carlin notes.

“Hearings likely will be begin as early as February, with possible legislation this summer,” he says.

Congress also is likely to focus on implementation of the farm bill and the new Margin Protection Program for Dairy.

“Congress will look at whether it’s working and also the level of participation,” Carlin says.
Reports say McConnell has emphasized small legislative goals rather than a broad ideological agenda.

“Let me make it clear: There will be no government shutdowns and no default on the national debt,” he says.

Also up in the air is how far Republicans may go to repeal parts of the controversial Affordable Care Act. A recent report says McConnell acknowledges that completely repealing the law would be difficult without enough votes to overturn a presidential veto.

“I think lawmakers have made things harder than they need to be, and the proof is in the pudding whether we see progress — but we’re always optimistic,” Carlin says.


FDA clarifies position on
non-toxigenic E. coli levels

November 7, 2014

WASHINGTON — FDA this week sent a letter to the American Cheese Society (ACS) noting that it is modifying the non-toxigenic E. coli amounts permissible in raw milk.

ACS recently contacted William Correll, director of the Office of Compliance for FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), seeking clarification on permissible levels of non-toxigenic E. coli in raw milk cheese, an issue of concern to members.

ACS says it sought to understand why proposed permissible levels for non-toxigenic E. coli were changed, and explanatory language regarding raw milk cheeses was removed, from FDA’s 2009 Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) draft to the final 2010 CPG.

In addition, the organization sought information on what scientific data and/or correlation exists between the presence of non-toxigenic E. coli and the incidence of pathogens in cheese overall, and how that data supports the determination of allowable limits. (See “Industry seeks clarity from FDA on pending regulatory changes” in the Sept. 12, 2014, issue of Cheese Market News.)

ACS notes it received a response from FDA last week, which says that after issuing its draft 2009 CPG, which proposed different permissible levels of non-toxigenic E. coli in raw milk and pasteurized milk cheeses, FDA received four comments from industry organizations including the International Dairy Foods Association and the American Dairy Products Institute questioning why raw milk and pasteurized milk cheeses were treated differently.

“These comments called for a uniform level of non-toxigenic E. coli to be set based on an accepted standard of food safety, without regard to milk treatment. In response, FDA re-examined the studies that informed the 2009 CPG and ultimately made the decision to apply the same limits of non-toxigenic E. coli to both raw milk and pasteurized milk cheeses,” FDA says. “FDA’s review of the studies indicated that, ‘if cheeses are properly manufactured from good quality milk under hygienic conditions, non-toxigenic E. coli, if present at all, would be present in cheeses, made from either raw milk or pasteurized milk, at very low levels.’ As such, FDA feels the uniform level set for non-toxigenic E. coli in the 2010 CPG is acceptable and should be consistently attainable.”

FDA adds that in response to recent outreach by industry stakeholders such as ACS with concerns about permissible levels of non-toxigenic E. coli in raw milk cheese, the agency has modified its criteria for considering possible regulatory action when finding non-toxigenic E. coli in cheese.

“FDA’s current threshold is now more lenient than the threshold in the 2010 CPG,” the agency says. “Rather than requiring that no more than one (1) sample of five (5) exceed 10 MPN/g for non-toxigenic E. coli, the new threshold requires that no more than two (2) samples of five (5) exceed this limit. Absolutely no samples may exceed 100 MPN/g. FDA’s data show that non-toxigenic E. coli levels above 100 MPN/g clearly indicate unacceptable hygienic conditions in a facility. The 2010 CPG is being revised to reflect this change, and industry members will receive notice of the revised version’s availability for public comment after it has been updated.”

FDA says that, in its own raw milk sampling program, approximately 95 percent of cheeses sampled would meet the standards outlined above for non-toxigenic E. coli.

This information, in combination with other scientific data cited in FDA’s letter, leads FDA to believe that the vast majority of raw milk cheeses will meet these standards, the agency adds.

ACS says its leadership will meet with FDA in December in Washington, D.C. The meeting is part of ACS’s commitment to engage proactively around issues of importance to the American artisan and specialty cheese industry, with a focus on preserving traditional cheesemaking methods, the organization says. In this meeting, ACS will continue the discussion around permissible limits for non-toxigenic E. coli in raw milk cheese.

In addition, ACS says the meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss:

• Any points of concern in the current (2010) CPG that weren’t addressed in FDA’s most recent letter, including what impact enforcement of the CPG is having on American cheesemakers;

• The time line for asking FDA to review and provide feedback on ACS’s Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers, which is currently under development;

• The need to educate inspectors about traditional cheesemaking practices that FDA has made clear are not prohibited, such as the use of wood boards in aging cheese, so that cheesemakers are not cited improperly; and

• When and how results from FDA’s raw milk cheese sampling program will be made available to industry members.

“We will continue to share updates with our members as they become available,” ACS says.


U.S. cheese production up,
butter down vs. year earlier

November 7, 2014

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheese, was 941.6 million pounds in September, up 4.7 percent from September 2013’s 899.5 million pounds, according to preliminary data released this week by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Dairy Production chart.)

September cheese production was 0.2 percent above August 2014’s 940.1 million pounds (a gain of 3.5 percent on an average daily basis).

NASS reports Mozzarella production totaled 330.0 million pounds in September, an increase of 9.3 percent vs. a year earlier. Total Italian-type cheese production, of which Mozzarella is the largest component, was 414.9 million pounds in September, a gain of 7.9 percent vs. September 2013.

Cheddar production totaled 256.0 million pounds in September, an increase of 5.9 percent vs. September 2013. Total American-type cheese production, of which Cheddar is the largest component, was 361.1 million pounds in September, up 4.0 percent from a year earlier.

NASS reports Wisconsin led the nation’s cheese production in September with 241.0 million pounds, a 3.0 percent increase vs. its production a year earlier. California followed with 195.7 million pounds, a 5.4 percent increase vs. its production a year earlier.

The next four cheese-producing states in September were Idaho with 76.8 million pounds, up 5.4 percent from its production a year earlier; New York with 69.1 million pounds, down 3.0 percent; New Mexico with 63.3 million pounds, up 11.4 percent; and Minnesota with 53.4 million pounds, up 4.9 percent.

NASS reports total U.S. butter production in September was 130.1 million pounds, down 1.6 percent from September 2013’s 132.2 million pounds. September 2014 butter production was up 1.2 percent from August 2014’s butter production (up 4.5 percent on an average daily basis). California led the nation’s butter production with 41.3 million pounds in September, down 8.4 percent from its production a year earlier.


U.S. export volume down
16 percent from a year ago

November 7, 2014

WASHINGTON — U.S. dairy exports of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose totaled 302.5 million pounds in September, down 16 percent from a year ago and down 9 percent from August, according to the latest reports from USDA and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). USDEC notes that this marks the lowest monthly volume in 18 months, and volumes have fallen since March’s record 441.2 million pounds of dairy exports. (The figures released by USDA and USDEC are in metric tons; Cheese Market News has converted the data to pounds by multiplying by 2,204.6.)

USDEC says this decline has been triggered by several developments worldwide. Milk supplies have significantly increased in Europe and Oceania, while China’s buying has slowed and Russia has instituted a ban on products from Europe and others.

In September, U.S. dairy exports were valued at $487.1 million, down 16 percent from one year ago. Year-to-date sales through September were $5.62 billion, up 14 percent compared to the first nine months of 2013.

Cheese exports in September fell below 66.1 million pounds for the first time this year, USDEC says. However, at 61.4 million pounds, September’s cheese shipments were up almost 9 percent from a year ago and 52 percent from two years ago.

Whey protein isolate exports in September reached 6.8 million pounds, a new monthly volume record and about 10 percent greater than any previous month. However, USDEC notes dry whey and whey protein concentrate shipments were well below levels of the past 18 months.

Lactose shipments, which totaled 64.2 million pounds in September, were up 11 percent from a year ago and 14 percent from two years ago.

Nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder exports in September totaled 70.8 million pounds, down 29 percent from a year ago and the lowest level in 19 months. Butterfat shipments totaled 5.2 million pounds in September, the lowest in two years after an all-time high of 27.2 million pounds during March, USDEC reports.

Sales were up on a value basis to Mexico (up 21 percent), Southeast Asia (14 percent), Middle East/North Africa (2 percent), China (13 percent), Canada (6 percent), South Korea (44 percent), Japan (42 percent), Oceania (21 percent) and the Caribbean (5 percent). USDEC reports that among the top 10 dairy export destinations during the first nine months of this year, only South America was lower (down 2 percent).



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Today's Cheese Spot Trading
November 21, 2014

Barrels: $1.7400 (-1)
Blocks: $1.7300 (-4 1/2)

Click here for more market activity
Cheese Production
U.S. Total Sept.
941.580 mil. lbs.

Milk Production
23 State Total Oct.
16.048 bil. lbs.

Guest Columnist

2015 trends and dairy solutions

Edward Zimmerman, The Food Connector

Also this week: “The role global markets play in U.S. pricing, and what to do about it” by Eric Meyer, HighGround Dairy

Click here for our columnist archives


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