Dairy Farmers File Suit Against DFA and Dean Foods

US - Northeast dairy farmers have filed a law suit against Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Dean Foods for monopolising distribution of fluid milk and price-fixing.
calendar icon 12 October 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

An antitrust lawsuit was filed on behalf of Northeast dairy farmers against the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Dean Foods in the US District Court in Burlington, Vermont, according to lead attorney Benjamin Brown, of Cohen Milstein reports Dairy Food Business Review.

The suit charges, DFA and Dean each with monopolising a level of distribution of fluid milk in the Northeast and forcing dairy farmers to join DFA or its marketing affiliate Dairy Marketing Services (DMS) to survive. DMS and milk processor HP Hood also were named in the suit for aiding DFA's and Dean's monopolisation and, in the case of DMS for price-fixing with DFA.

Northeast dairy farmers accuse DFA and Dean for lowering the price they receive for fluid milk by making DFA and its affiliates the exclusive suppliers of milk to Dean and Hood. Together the two processors bottle about 90 per cent of the fluid milk in the Northeast.

DFA entered into unlawful agreements with Dean Foods, which controls approximately 70 per cent of the Northeast market for bottling fluid Grade A milk, and Hood, which controls approximately 20 per cent of the market. This ensures that DFA and DMS would supply virtually all of the fluid Grade A milk bottled in the Northeast by Dean and Hood.

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