Cooperatives Working Together


Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) is a voluntary, marketing-focused program managed by NMPF and designed to promote the sale of US dairy products to overseas customers and seek a better alignment of supply and demand for milk and milk products at home. Member cooperatives and individual producers provide the funding for CWT by contributing four cents per hundredweight of milk marketed. Providing support since 2003, CWT’s Export Assistance program positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers and cooperatives by fostering the competitiveness of US dairy products in the global marketplace and helping member cooperatives gain and maintain world market share for U.S dairy products. As a result, the program has helped significantly expand the total demand for U.S. dairy products and the demand for U.S. farm milk that produces those products.

Export Assistance Program FAQ

Who is eligible to participate in the Export Assistance program?

CWT member cooperatives marketing eligible products are qualified to apply for assistance from CWT in making export sales to eligible countries. Export assistance is requested and awarded on a bid basis.

What products are eligible for CWT assistance?
    • Anhydrous Milkfat (AMF)
    • Butter
    • Natural Cheese(s)
      • Cheddar
      • Colby
      • Gouda
      • Monterey Jack
      • Swiss/Emmentaler
      • Cream Cheese
    • Pasteurized Process Cheese(s)
      • Made from the natural cheese varieties listed above (except cream cheese)
    • Whole Milk Powder

What export destinations are supported by the program?

The Export Assistance program supports exports to every country except Canada and Mexico.

How does the Export Assistance program bid process work?

CWT member cooperatives first submit a request for export assistance specifying the product to be exported, the quantity of product, the end customer, the country in which the customer is located and a desired amount of assistance per metric ton of product.

CWT staff then analyze each bid received, considering the market in which the product will be sold, the time of delivery, and global and U.S. product prices. When the level of assistance requested is economically justified, the bid is accepted. If the analysis indicates the assistance requested is not economical, the cooperative is advised of the maximum level of assistance CWT will provide. The member cooperative then has the option to accept the assistance offered. If the counteroffer is accepted, the assistance request assistance is modified to reflect the level per metric ton CWT will provide. The bid is assigned a reference number, dated and signed by the CWT program administrator.

When does the member cooperative receive the assistance payment?

The cooperative does not receive payment from CWT until the documentation verifying that the product has been delivered to the end customer has been received by CWT. CWT staff reviews the documents thoroughly, as required in the Export Assistance Operating Procedures. If the documentation is found to be in order, a request for payment is submitted. Payment is typically made within 30 days of receiving the request for payment and the necessary supporting paperwork.

Do CWT-assisted export sales displace sales made without assistance?

The Export Assistance program aims to expand sales of U.S. dairy products in world markets, not displace existing sales. If CWT receives a claim that its assistance has displaced an unassisted export sale of a U.S. dairy product, the claim is thoroughly investigated.


The CWT Export Assistance program helps member cooperatives secure export sales of higher-milkfat dairy products and supports member efforts to gain and maintain global market share. As a result, U.S. dairy farmers and their cooperatives benefit from these efforts to increase global demand for our products, which include American-type cheeses, cream cheese, butter, anhydrous milkfat and whole milk powder. The program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers. All dairy farmers and cooperatives should consider investing in CWT.

To apply for membership, return the cooperative membership form to the CWT Program office.

Contact Us

Please contact or 703-243-6111 with any questions or for more information about CWT’s Export Assistance program. Member cooperatives and other qualified individual contributors may also request a copy of the bylaws and operating procedures governing the program.