U.S. Rep. Ron Kind sent a letter this week to the Acting Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging him to take immediate action to assist Wisconsin dairy farmers who are negatively impacted by Grassland Dairy Product’s decision to stop purchasing their milk. Grassland Dairy’s action was taken due to protectionist Canadian trade policies restricting American dairy exports in violation of their trade commitments to the United States
“Over the past few days, I have heard directly from many Wisconsin dairy farmers who are deeply concerned about what this action by Grassland Dairy will mean for their family farms. Grassland’s decision further demonstrates why the U.S. needs to enact trade policies that level the playing field for our farmers. However, in the meantime I am calling on USDA to take all available steps to make sure Wisconsin dairy farmers do not lose their farms,” said Rep. Kind
Grassland Dairy Products pointed to a new Canadian system for ultra-filtered milk as the reason for a loss of exports to the Canadian market.
"I am deeply concerned that these changes to Canada’s milk system may violate existing trade commitments by discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada. I have spoken directly with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and others in the Trump Administration about these issues to make sure Wisconsin farmers have access to new markets to selltheir products and to ensure that Canada’s habitual protectionist diary polices are a top priority in the context of any NAFTA renegotiation. The recent decision by Grassland Dairy Products highlights the need for action to ensure dairy farmers have access to global markets.
"In the meantime, the dairy farmers who received notice from Grassland Dairy Products may be forced out of business if unable to find another processor."