Right now, top officials at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are sitting on recommendations from their antitrust task force to take action against two of the biggest firms in the U.S. dairy industry: Dairy Farmers of America (the nation’s largest dairy cooperative) and Dean Foods (the nation’s largest fluid milk processor).
With thousands of dairy farmers going out of business this year alone, there is no excuse for any more delays. Take action to tell Attorney General Eric Holder to act now to restore fairness to the marketplace and save our dairy farmers.
The crisis in the dairy industry may seem confusing, but the numbers tell it all. Since the mid 1980s, the gap between farm milk price and retail milk price has steadily widened. It’s outrageous that over the last 20 years, farmers have received less and less for their milk even as consumers have paid more at the grocery store. The middlemen are making all the money!
America has lost over half its dairy farmers in the past sixteen years, with fewer than 60,000 dairy farmers remaining. During that time, the DOJ has repeatedly allowed unrestrained takeovers and market abuses in dairy at the expense of both America’s dairy farmers and consumers, and it’s time we put a stop to it.
So what happens if we don’t take action to save our dairy farmers?
We risk losing tens of thousands more farmers from the land and billions of dollars from our rural economies. We risk being forced to rely on more factory farms and imported milk substitutes that compromise public and environmental health and safety. We risk losing our choice for safe, local milk from family farmers we trust.
Thanks so much for standing with family dairy farmers. We’ll keep you updated on how your action today makes a difference — and please, after you send your letter, don’t forget to tell as many friends as possible to get involved. We need all the help we can get on this one.