Monthly Archives: April 2008

Socially Responsible? Think Again.

Cyndi Young
Brownfield Ag News
Published in Illinois AgriNews (April 17, 2008)

A release I came across in my computer inbox the other day promoted the establishment of a new brand of milk. Not only does this milk come from happy cows, but from socially responsible dairy farms.

It appears that “socially responsible” has replaced “politically correct” as the buzz phrase of choice in many circles. Continue reading Socially Responsible? Think Again.

Bottoms Up

Dave Natzke
Published in Midwest Dairy Business (April 2008)

More vertical integration, what many consider the “evil empire” afflicting segments of food production, is headed toward dairy. As in other industries, most vertical integration pressure will come from the top down, in an effort to squeeze as much money out of incremental margins as possible. But in an evolving business climate, I think more dairy pressure will ultimately come from the bottom up. Continue reading Bottoms Up

Who’s Sustaining What?

Dave Natzke
Published in Midwest Dairy Business (February 2008)

The buzzword at the International Dairy Foods Association’s Dairy Forum ’08 was “sustainability.” While the word gives everyone a warm and fuzzy feeling they’re doing something – anything – to make the world a better place to live, the definition of “sustainability” can be elusive and confusing. Many Dairy Forum speakers used the term to cover environmental and social aspects of milk and dairy product production, packaging and transportation. Continue reading Who’s Sustaining What?

Irony and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

Terry D. Etherton

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recently has issued two contradictory press releases (see below) that relate to labeling of milk and dairy products. In one, they promote absence claim labeling; in the other they propose labels are not needed.

IDFA supports the use of deceptive absence labels in the rbST-free milk market battle! However, they are opposed to labels on ultra-filtered (UF) milk used in cheesemaking because those labels may confuse the consumer! Continue reading Irony and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

Cloning, Activists, Grizzly Bears and Logging

Terry D. Etherton

Two outstanding podcasts are posted on Enjoy listening to these thought provoking presentations on:

  • Cloning: where have we been and where are we today? Gary Crawford, USDA, summarizes recent developments from USDA and FDA
  • Bruce Vincent, Multiple Generation Environmental Steward and Logger from Libby, MT, shares an empowering presentation on activists, grizzly bears and the logging industry. There are interesting parallels to today’s dairy industry

Listen to this PodCast Listen | subscribe

Milk Market Moos

Published in Farmshine (March 28, 2008 Issue)

Dairymen respond to Wal-Mart’s “Great Value

Wal-Mart announced this week that its Great Value milk brand now sources milk exclusively from cows not treated with rbST. Milk selections at Sam’s Club are also offered from suppliers sourcing milk from non-supplemented cows.

With this announcement came a report on Wal-Mart’s blogging website, where Rand Waddoups, “author for sustainability” writes about several new “sustainability-related” initiatives at Wal-Mart, including this recent change for Great Value milk. Continue reading Milk Market Moos

Scientists Challenge Industry In Escalating rbST Label Row

Posted on Truth About Trade & Technology
April 2, 2008

Sixty-six university dairy and veterinary scientists launched a broad attack Monday against milk processors and retail marketers who increasingly seek to advertise and label milk produced by cows not treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine somatotropin. A letter from professors at nearly every major land grant university asserted there was no difference between conventional and “rBST-free” or organic milk but that consumers were being misled by emotional advertising claims to pay higher prices. Continue reading Scientists Challenge Industry In Escalating rbST Label Row

Food Costs Increase and the “Smoke and Mirrors” of rbST-Free Milk Marketing Rolls On…and On…and On

Terry Etherton

Retail food prices at the supermarket increased in the first quarter of 2008, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items in the first quarter of 2008 was $45.03, up about 8 percent or $3.42 from the fourth quarter of 2007. Continue reading Food Costs Increase and the “Smoke and Mirrors” of rbST-Free Milk Marketing Rolls On…and On…and On