ARLINGTON, Va. — The board of directors of the National Milk Producers Federation voted to extend funding through 2021 for Cooperatives Working Together, the farmer-funded export assistance program that assists member cooperatives in exporting dairy products.
The three-year extension comes at a time of growing U.S. milk production, weak global dairy prices and increased worldwide competition.
Cooperatives Working Together is the only program of its kind that enables farmers to fund a private enterprise that increases the competitiveness of U.S. dairy exports.
The Federation developed and manages the 16-year-old self-help program.
How it works
The program is a voluntary membership program funded by contributions from the federation’s member cooperatives and more than 100 individual farmers.
The funds raised from the program’s membership fee of $0.04 per hundredweight helps to maintain U.S. exports in an increasingly competitive world market.
The program’s member cooperatives submit bids requesting help with sales in specific foreign markets. After independent review and justification, bids are either accepted or there is a counteroffer made.
Financial assistance is provided only after the sale is completed. Through the first five months of 2018, Cooperatives Working Together has facilitated the sale of 56 million pounds of dairy products, representing the equivalent of 648 million pounds of milk.
Since the export assistance program’s inception in 2003, it has helped members sell 887 million pounds of dairy products, the equivalent of more than 11.1 billion pounds of milk.