CDFA Official on Success and Future of California Dairy

CDFA Official on Success and Future of California Dairy

July 3, 2014

Karen Ross, Secretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, talks about the role of California Dairy has on the current global market, and what the future hold for the industry.

“So we really have seen a couple things going on. One is this huge constant demand for California milk-based products. the export markets looking for powders, they can’t get enough powders, they have huge confidence in the food safety of our milk production here, we‘re strategically located," said Ross. "So that demand has really drive up prices, but at the same time fortunately for us our friends in the Midwest had great corn and soybean harvest and so those grain prices had moderated so that farmers are finally to the point where their realizing some margins and they need to rebuild their equity," she added.

Ross mentions that industry leaders are already looking towards the future.

"We also to the credit of the leaders and the producers and processor community, are still meeting as part of their California Dairy Futures Task Force, and we actually have a couple different proposals for some reform to of our pricing system going forward, that we are taking a deeper dive in. We have some economists that are doing some analytics on that and concurrently the cooperative continues to work on the petition and we will find out people are willing to consider seriously going into a federally milk marketing order. " said Ross.

Ross explains some aspects of the dairy industry need to change.

"So I think its healthy for the industry now that we have some margins in the business and to really think about our future and this almost 60-year old pricing system, and what works, and we want to retain and where we need to create some flexibility so that we can be very competitive  and maximize our opportunities in the export market." said Ross.