US - As America’s dairy farmers endure low milk prices, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has asked the US Department of Agriculture to provide relief by purchasing at least $100 million worth of cheese products for donation to the needy.
Global dairy demand has sagged in the past two years, due primarily to a reduction in purchases by China and Russia. NMPF said the measure that would help both farmers, and food insecure Americans who patronise food banks.
In a letter sent on Friday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, National Milk urged the department to use all of its available authorities to purchase $100 to $150 million of cheese.
“Dairy producers here in the United States need assistance to help endure this 18-month depression in milk prices,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. “This type of assistance would both help economically-strapped farmers, and also help those without ready access to nutritious dairy products.”
A cheese buying program of up to $150 million would allow for the distribution of as much as 90 million pounds of cheese to nonprofit food banks and NMPF said it would strengthen farm-level prices, increasing the incomes of all US dairy farmers by approximately $380 million.
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