UK's Dairy Crest is buying rival Express Dairies for about $60 million (US) in an effort to secure the future of its declining milk delivery business.

UK's Dairy Crest is buying rival Express Dairies for about $60 million (US) in an effort to secure the future of its declining milk delivery business. The acquisition will make Dairy Crest, maker of Clover spread and Cathedral City cheddar, Britain's biggest milk delivery service with two million customers and a market share of 45%. The news came late last month just a few days after Dairy Crest said its chief executive, Drummond Hall would step down at year's end.

The owners of the farm implicated in last year's Washington state E. coli outbreak plan to appeal the $8,000 fine levied against them, arguing that they do not need a license to distribute unpasteurized "raw" milk. Anita and Michael Puckett came to attention for their participation in the controversial cow-share program. Eighteen people, including five children, became ill after consuming E. coli-tainted milk later traced back to the farm.

It's almost back to school time, and school milk carton programs are gearing up. MilkPEP's "Body by Milk" program, encourages processors to print panel messages about the program that involves UPC codes and online auctions. Meanwhile Blue Ridge Paper Company offers "Milk Rocks," a carton program featuring 16-year-old Britney Christian, a rising star in the pop/rock music world.

Coinciding with the 23rd annual international conference and competition of the American Cheese Society, Oregon's state cheesemakers have launched the Oregon Cheese Guild. The organization is the first of its kind in the state and is dedicated to the art and process of making cheese. Inaugural members include Ancient Heritage, Fraga Farms, Juniper Grove, Oregon Gourmet Cheeses, Pholia Farms, Queseria, Rogue Creamery, Three Ring Farm, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tumalo Farms, and Willamette Valley Cheese Co.