Hilmar, Calif.-based Hilmar
Cheese Co. has been fined $4 million by California’s water-quality
enforcers for repeated pollution violations. Over the past two years, the
cheese company allegedly has flushed high volumes of milky wastewater onto
surrounding land. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control
Board’s executive officer issued the fine via certified mail the same
day as cheese plant co-owner Chuck Ahlem resigned as the state’s
agriculture undersecretary, saying he needed to tend to his company’s
waste-water issues, according to the Modesto Bee.
Orrville, Ohio-based Smith
Dairy Products Co. has acquired the traditional ice cream business from Superior
Dairy of Canton, Ohio. Both companies they are focused on expanding their
market positions and maintaining their independence in the dairy industry.
For more information about the acquisition, visit www.smithdairy.com.
This fall, New Ulm,
Minn.-based Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) members shared
equity and earnings payments totaling $9.3 million. AMPI’s board of
directors approved the revolvement of $6.9 million of members’
capital retain investment and $2.4 million in allocated earnings. The
payments make AMPI equity revolvement among the fastest in history, says
the dairy marketing cooperative.
The dairy farmer owners
of Kansas City, Mo.-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) have acquired
all ownership interests in Harleysville, Pa.-based Keller’s Creamery
LLC. Keller’s was formed in May 2000 as a joint venture between DFA
and the former management team of Sodiaal North America Corp. For more
information about the transaction, visit www.dfamilk.com.
As part of its Sensible
Solution marketing initiative this year, Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods
Inc., is phasing out advertising for certain products in media primarily
aimed at children ages 6 to 11, including ads for Oreo cookies and
Kool-Aid. During the year, Kraft will shift its promotions in these media
outlets to its products that meet a new nutritional criteria derived from
standards set by the recently released 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines and
government authorities. Kraft will also add a Sensible Solution label on
products for both kids and adults that meet the nutrition criteria,
including Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Cheese. In 2006, the company
plans to end advertisements for all products that do not meet the Sensible
nutrition-related news, White Plains, N.Y.-based Dannon Co. Inc. is
also tapping into the newly released U.S. Dietary Guidelines in order to
promote the February launch of its new Light ‘n Fit with Fiber nonfat
yogurt. Dannon says this addition to the Light ‘n Fit line is a good
source of fiber and calcium, both nutrients the government says Americans
are lacking in their daily diets.
Groupe Lactalis has
acquired the McLelland Group, the third-largest cheese company in the
United Kingdom. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, McLelland produces 100 million
pounds of cheddar annually under the brand name Seriously Strong.
Dallas-based Dean Foods
Co. has announced that it intends to pursue a tax-free spin-off of its
Specialty Foods Group to Dean shareholders. The planned debt-free offshoot
will create a publicly traded private label and regionally branded consumer
packaged goods company with about 1,700 employees and 2005 revenues
estimated at more than $700 million, the company reports.
Washington, D.C.-based International
Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) will present its SmartMarketing 2005
conference March 15 to 17 at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta. This
year’s only dairy-specific marketing meeting will focus on examining
competitive pressures in the grocery channel, understanding consumers and
expanding milk and weight-loss marketing opportunities. The program will
also feature Hall of Innovation exhibitions and the announcement of the
winners of the prestigious 2005 Achieving Excellence Awards. More
information is at www.idfa.org.
launched exchanges for seven new condensed and dry dairy commodities. These
markets include nonfat dry milk and dry and condensed versions of whey,
whey protein concentrate and buttermilk. All of the markets support both
spot and contract trading.