Last week, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its decision to recommend California enact a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO). Comments from the public will be accepted for 90 days after the official publication in the Federal Register, on Tuesday, February 14th.
FMMOs establish provisions in which dairy processors buy milk from dairy farmers that supply a marketing area, and regulate the purchasing of milk between farmers and buyers. A marketing area can be defined as a geographic area where dairy processors compete for packaged fluid milk sales. The marketing area recommended by USDA would cover the entire state of California.
Where it is applicable, the FMMO will propose the adoption of uniform order provisions included in the 10 current FMMOs. These provisions include dairy product classification, end product price formulas and the producer handler definition.
California produces over 20% of all U.S. milk production and is currently regulated by a state milk marketing order.
The USDA will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, February 22nd in Clovis, CA to answer questions on how it will operate and how the public can submit comments. A final decision will be issued after analyzing comments.
The USDA will also be publishing a Regulatory Economic Impact Analysis that was conducted to determine the potential impact of a FMMO.
The hearing record, details of the public meeting, and the Regulatory Economic Impact Analysis are available at www.ams.usda.gov/caorder
Written by Lacie Dotterweich