Dean Foods Co. reported lower earnings for 2004, although sales were on the rise. Executives said volatile raw milk prices caused the Dairy Group, which accounts for 80% of Dean's business to underperform. They also pointed to stronger fourth quarter performance as a sign of good things to come.
CoolBrands International Inc., Toronto, was quick to name a new CEO after Richard Smith, co-chairman and co-CEO of the company died last month. A company spokesman said Smith, 64, died at a hospital outside New York City after an operation for an undisclosed ailment.
A battle is brewing in Congress between milk processors and producers over renewal of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC), which provides a government subsidy to farmers. Legislation was introduced in early February that would double the size of the MILC subsidy. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), would extend the program through September 2007 and increase the cap in the subsidy formula to 4.8 million gal per year. Dairy processors are lining up against the measure, noting that it was introduced a day after President Bush called for curbing the federal deficit during his state of the union speech.