Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New York's Milk Marketing Advisory Council Meets Again

From the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

The state Department of Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today (Nov. 29) announced the department has reconvened the Milk Marketing Advisory Council (MMAC), which was created to advise the commissioner on issues important to the dairy industry.  

The council met today to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the state’s largest agricultural sector.

The MMAC is composed of more than 24 members from the dairy manufacturing and processing sectors, from dairy farmer cooperative associations, in addition to milk consumers and representatives of milk retailers.  

The Advisory Council’s goal is to advise the ag commissioner on policy issues impacting New York’s dairy industry, and provides a forum for communication and networking between dairy community leaders.

Today, the MMAC discussed topics including the current milk market situation, increased production, and trade agreement policies, in particular with Canada.  This comes on the heels of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, expressing his opposition to proposed regulations that would create a barrier for New York’s dairy farmers exporting a key New York dairy product to Canada.  

Cuomo called on the Canadian government to develop a national agreement to mutually benefit trade across borders.

In addition, the department provided in-depth information on the state’s New York State Grown & Certified food labeling program. Launched in August, the program assures consumers that the food they are buying is local and produced to a higher standard by requiring participating producers to adopt good agricultural practices and enroll in an environmental management program.  

The program is being expanded to include dairy producers and processors and will provide significant marketing benefits to New York’s milk and dairy products industry. Learn more about the Grown & Certified program by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrNmWAF51Cc&feature=youtu.be  clicking on this link.

The Milk Marketing Advisory Council will meet again June 1, 2017.

“I’m pleased to reconvene the Milk Marketing Advisory Council and bring together such a great group that represent the very best of the industry — from our farmers to our processors to our retailers," Ball said.  

"Today’s meeting provided an opportunity for the group to delve into some of the key issues the industry is facing today, such as market conditions and trade barriers, but it also gave us the platform to inform our producers and processors about some of the new exciting marketing programs available, like the NYS Grown & Certified program, to help our dairy businesses grow," he said. "I look forward to continuing the great dialogue started here today.”

The dairy industry faces daunting challenges but also terrific opportunities. We have seen the dairy industry struggle with low milk prices, an unprecedented drought this summer and continued consumer demand on the food system, but the dairy sector rises to those challenges and provides great products," said Andrew M. Novakovic, Cornell University professor of agricultural economics and chair of the council.

"The industry members who are represented on the commissioner’s Milk Marketing Advisory Council are eager to assist the State in providing input to improve the sound framework in which the dairy industry operates,” Novakovic said.

New York’s dairy industry ranks fourth in the nation for total milk production with more than 14 billion pounds produced annually from 620,000 dairy cows.  New York has just over 4,800 dairy farms and generated $2.6 billion in 2015 from the sale of milk, which represents nearly half of the state’s total agricultural receipts.

New York’s dairy industry also consists of nearly 400 dairy processors and manufacturers, numerous dairy support services, such as veterinarians, feed dealers, equipment dealers and others as well thousands of retailers that provide milk and dairy products to New Yorkers throughout the state.

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