Statement: Consumer "Survey" Continues IDFA Misrepresentations of Dairy Security Act

Release date: November 29,2012
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From Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF

ARLINGTON, VA – “The findings of the Harris Interactive survey, conducted for the International Dairy Food Association (IDFA), are misleading because its questions were.

“First, the Dairy Security Act is not a mandatory program; dairy farmers can choose not to participate in it. In addition, it does not set mandatory limits on the amount of milk a participating dairy farmer can produce. A voluntary program is hardly big government intrusion. It doesn’t appear the survey explained this key point.

“Second, the survey misleads because it clearly implies that the government sets retail dairy product prices. It does not. Dairy farmers’ prices are based on what the marketplace is willing to pay for cheddar cheese, butter and nonfat milk powder. As is the case with other consumer goods, prices for dairy products are set by retailers and vary greatly from month to month, from city to city, and from store to store. That’s the market at work, not government.

“Lastly, the farmer’s share of retail dairy prices is at best one-third. Others in the supply chain, including the retailers who determine the final price, receive the majority of the price consumers pay, even as the farmer’s share has shrunk over time.

“These are the facts that consumers and legislators must keep in mind, and they bear little resemblance to the misrepresentations of this ‘survey’.”


The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), 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.