Thursday, April 7, 2022

Dairy farmers sue their own co-operative

A group of dairy farmers in New Mexico are suing Dairy Farmers of America Inc., the largest dairy co-operative in the United States.

They allege that it conspired with Select Milk Producers Inc. to “stabilize and depress” their milk revenues by illegally sharing price data, by skimming excess profits from milk pooled from several sources and by illegally coordinating pricing.

Bloomberg news agency said it has been unable to get interviews with the co-operatives for their side of the story.

A document the farmers filed with the court said the effect “has been devastating to many dairy farmers,” forcing them “to borrow from generations of equity built up on their land. Many Southwestern dairy farmers have been forced to declare bankruptcy.”

I am not surprised that a co-operative is pursuing policies for the company benefit at the expense of its farmer members. What does surprise me is that they have filed a lawsuit.