Dairy Industry Urges Continued U.S. Focus on Defending Common Names Rights
USTR Special 301 Report Touts Administration Efforts to Battle Proliferation of Trade Barriers that Manipulate Geographical Indications
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The dairy industry today welcomed an assessment of the Obama Administration’s fight to ensure that the EU’s geographical indication (GI) initiatives with other countries and regions do not undercut U.S. industries’ market access opportunities. Continue reading
USDA Announces Improvements in Dairy Margin Protection Program
Provisions Made to Enhance Coverage Levels, Allow for Additional Family Members to Use MPP
ARLINGTON, VA – Several important improvements in the new safety net program for dairy farmers were announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, following recommendations made to the agency by the National Milk Producers Federation to enhance the value of the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP).
“We very much appreciate these steps by USDA to implement administrative changes that will improve the program’s usefulness to dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “USDA is constrained in what it can do to strengthen MPP, but the program must continue to evolve based on the experiences of NMPF’s members and others in the dairy industry.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Milk Producers Federation, U.S. Dairy Export Council and the International Dairy Foods Association asked members of Congress in a letter today to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement while also addressing a number of critical implementation and enforcement issues that are key determinants in how the agreement is likely to work in practice. As part of this, the dairy associations urged the federal government to ensure that the other participating countries adhere to their respective commitments within the pact.
NMPF Statement on Senate Vote on GMO Legislation
From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF
ARLINGTON, VA – “Today’s vote is a disappointment, but not a defeat for those of us seeking a strong, clear, national and rational standard for food labeling.
“Despite today’s vote, we believe a bi-partisan federal policy is within reach, based on discussions with Senate offices in the last few days. We are committed to working to bridge differences and get a compromise agreement through the Senate.
“Passage of a coherent food label disclosure law by Congress is the only logical approach in order to avoid the chaotic mess that would arise from leaving this issue up to the whims of 50 different states.”
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.
NMPF Board of Directors Approves Changes in FARM Program Version 3.0
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation Board of Directors yesterday approved changes to the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program to strengthen the effectiveness and credibility of its animal care standards.
Revisions to the FARM Program occur every three years and are based on input from farmers, veterinarians, and others involved in the FARM Program’s Technical Writing Group, NMPF’s Animal Health and Wellbeing Committee, and recommendations received through a public comment period. The revision process began in May 2015; the NMPF Board’s decision to approve the recommended revisions was the final step in the nearly 10-month process. The updates approved Tuesday during NMPF’s Board of Directors meeting will be reflected in version 3.0 of the program when it is implemented starting Jan. 1, 2017. Continue reading
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation voted Tuesday to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, an historic pact between 12 countries containing features that will help America’s dairy farmers in the future. The organization is now urging Congress to pass the agreement this year, even as it also registered concerns with another major trade pact being negotiated with Europe. Continue reading
NMPF President Tells Senate Panel about Possibilities, Pitfalls with Past Free Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON, DC – Even after free trade agreements are negotiated by the U.S. government, the value of the pacts depends greatly on the ability of the United States to make other countries live up to their commitments when the agreements are enforced, according to the National Milk Producers Federation, whose president testified today at a Senate hearing on the lessons from how past trade agreements have been implemented.
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, told members of the Senate Finance committee Thursday that trade has become critically important to America’s dairy sector, thanks to the Uruguay Round and numerous new U.S. free trade agreements since 1994. Even as dairy exports have grown, assisted in sizable part by the arduous, careful negotiations of the treaties, in some cases we have “to work almost as hard to ensure that the market access terms of the agreements are not subsequently undermined,” Mulhern said.
NMPF Supports New Senate Food Labeling Bill Approved Today by Agriculture Committee
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation today urged the full Senate to act quickly on legislation that would establish national regulations to bring consistency and transparency to the labeling of ingredients and processes used in the food supply. Continue reading
Dairy industry voices pros and cons to TPP in front of U.S. International Trade Commission
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) continued to play an active role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement process this week, as USDEC President Tom Suber testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) representing the U.S. dairy industry. Continue reading
NMPF Praises Inclusion of COOL Repeal, Tax Relief for Farmers In Year-End Federal Government Spending Bill
ARLINGTON, VA – Several crucial items for dairy farmers were approved by Congress in a massive year-end spending bill adopted Friday, including permanent tax relief for agricultural equipment purchases and the prevention of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. dairy products, the National Milk Producers Federation said today.
The must-pass omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2016, coupled with a major tax package, together were used as catch-all vehicles for a number of items important to the dairy sector, including: Continue reading
After WTO Release of Retaliation Amount, Dairy Groups Again Urge Congress to Solve Country-of-Origin Labeling Dispute
ARLINGTON, VA – In response to a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision today announcing that Canada and Mexico are authorized to apply a total of over $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs to U.S. exports, dairy producers and exporters renewed their call for Congress to take swift action to eliminate the threat to dairy exports. Continue reading
NMPF OPPOSES LATEST ‘ADDED SUGARS’ PROPOSAL FROM FDA
NMPF has opposed the Food and Drug Administration’s latest proposal to revise the Nutrition Facts Panel to include an amount and percent Daily Value for “added sugars” on the label for consumers. Continue reading
COMMENTS SOUGHT ON VERSION 3.0 OF THE FARM ANIMAL CARE MANUAL
NMPF is looking for feedback on the third update to its reference manual from those participating in the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program. Open to all dairy farmers, co-ops and processors, the FARM Program sets the highest standards for dairy animal care. The reference manual, which outlines best management practices central to the program, is reviewed and reissued every three years.
This fall, NMPF’s Animal Health and Well-being Committee approved edits to the manual suggested by the FARM Program Technical Writing Group, comprising academics, veterinarians, producers and co-op staff who reviewed the latest research, discussed feedback received from FARM Program evaluators and sifted through recommendations from large dairy customers. Continue reading
FDA REJECTS MANDATORY LABELING OF GMO FOODS, RELEASES OWN RECOMMENDATIONS
The conversation over genetically modified organisms flared up at the end of November, when the FDA made several big announcements on the issue. Most notably, it rejected a consumer activist petition seeking mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients, and then released its own recommendations on the voluntary labeling of GMO foods. Continue reading
NMPF URGES CONGRESSIONAL FIX OF COOL PROGRAM TO STAVE OFF NEW DAIRY TARIFFS
With the World Trade Organization announcing today that Canada and Mexico can slap $1 billion in new tariffs against U.S. exports, NMPF is pushing Congress to fix the country-of-origin labeling law for meat as soon as possible. The WTO said Monday morning that Canada may impose retaliatory tariffs of up $782 million, and Mexico may enforce $228 million in tariffs, on imported U.S. products to recoup damages caused by U.S. country-of-origin labeling rules for meat. Continue reading
FIVE OTHER DAIRY PRODUCER PRIORITIES PENDING AS CONGRESS NEARS ADJOURNMENT
NMPF is currently working hard on Capitol Hill on a handful of other legislative items important to dairy producers. The following items may also be approved by Congress in the final weeks of its 2015 session: Continue reading
The highway transportation bill signed by President Obama last Friday includes a provision allowing milk trucks in some states to carry more dairy products without unloading some of their shipment at state borders – a development that will benefit dairy farmers and cooperatives.
The bipartisan amendment, supported by NMPF, was sponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members Richard Hanna (R-NY) and Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and championed by committee member Reid Ribble (R-WI). It gives states the option to issue permits to milk haulers to increase their truck weights beyond Interstate Highway System limits. The permits, however, would still need to comply with each state’s trucking laws. Continue reading
Dairy Groups Urge Congress to Fix Country-of-Origin Labeling Problem in Year-End Spending Bill
ARLINGTON, VA – Dairy producers and exporters today urged Congress to eliminate the threat of damaging new tariffs on dairy exports to Canada and Mexico by solving a trade dispute over country-of-origin meat labeling in the massive year-end spending bill currently being negotiated on Capitol Hill.
In a letter sent Thursday to House and Senate leaders, the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council expressed increasing alarm that new tariffs targeted at U.S. dairy exports to the two neighboring nations are potentially only weeks away. Continue reading
New 2016 FARM Residue Prevention Manual Focuses on Antimicrobial Stewardship
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has released an updated version of its Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual – one of the key components of theNational Dairy FARM ProgramTM. In order to share the information widely with dairy farmers, the manual can be accessed for free on the FARM program website. This year’s manual includes additional information that focuses on ways the dairy industry can proactively engage in antimicrobial stewardship efforts. Continue reading