Cooperatives Working Together: Export assistance begins with cheese

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ARLINGTON, Va. – The first bid has been accepted under Cooperatives Working Together’s export assistance program, meaning that 40,000 pounds of cheese soon will be shipped overseas thanks to the farmer-funded milk reduction effort managed by National Milk Producers Federation.

CWT officials announced that approximately 40,000 pounds of cheddar will be exported to Japan by Dairy Farmers of America of Kansas City, Mo., one of the member cooperatives of CWT.

Dairy Farmers of America’s bid of 37 cents per pound was accepted, an amount that the cooperative will be paid by CWT once completion of the cheese shipment is verified.

Goal. CWT’s goal is to export approximately 30 million pounds of cheese during the next five months, and about 10 million pounds of butter (volumes that represent about 500 million pounds of milk equivalent).

Exports will occur as CWT’s members bid to be compensated for selling cheese and butter to customers overseas.

Only CWT member organizations are eligible to participate in the program.

CWT will award export bonuses based on the lowest bid prices.

CWT will operate the export assistance program during those periods when the U.S. price of cheese is $1.30 per pound or lower for cheese, or $1.10 per pound or lower for butter.

Funding. Cooperatives Working Together is being funded by dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers, who are contributing 5 cents per hundredweight assessment on their milk production from July 2003 through June 2004.

The money raised by CWT’s assessment – estimated at $54 million over 12 months – is being apportioned among three supply reduction programs to improve the national all milk price by a target of 36 cents per hundredweight.

For more information visit www.cwt.coop or call 888-INFO-CWT.

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