News Wire

Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA), Kansas City, Mo., has joined the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation to support Congress’ passage of the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR). The Senate on June 30 voted 54-45 to approve the pact; the House of Representatives is expected to take action by the end of July. “It took courage for the Senate to uphold free trade principles by approving CAFTA-DR in the face of intense political pressure,” said Clay Hough, senior vice president and general counsel for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). The six countries involved in the agreement with the United States —Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic — currently benefit from preferential access to the U.S. market for several commodities through the Caribbean Basin Initiative. CAFTA-DR would open new opportunities for the many dairy products that currently face significant tariffs in Central America, and would open the six nations to more U.S. dairy exports including milk powder, cheese and whey.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. plans to close 326 supermarkets and cut 22,000 jobs companywide, part of the financially troubled chain’s effort to emerge from bankruptcy court protection. Suffering amid competition from Wal-Mart, Publix and other food chains, Winn-Dixie also plans to try to sell six dairy plants; its pizza plant in Montgomery, Ala.; and its Chek Beverage/Deep South Products plant in Fitzgerald, Ga., which produces Chek soda, shelf-stable juices and condiments.
In June, Dallas-based Dean Foods Co. issued updated guidance for the second quarter and full year 2005 results, saying its Dairy Group and WhiteWave Foods operations will perform better than expected, but warning the spin-off of its majority-owned subsidiary TreeHouse Foods Inc. as an independent, publicly traded company, will dampen overall earning. Immediately prior to the spin-off, Dean transferred to TreeHouse the business currently conducted by its Specialty Foods Group.
Kemps LLC, Minneapolis, announced in June that four states have been added to the voluntary recall of half-gallon packages of Kemps Bakery Classics French Silk Pie Ice Cream because one of its ingredients contains wheat and is not declared on the ingredient label. People who have an allergy to wheat run the risk of serious allergic reaction if consumed. The recalled ice cream was distributed to retailers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois and Michigan. No illnesses have been reported to date.
Despite animal-rights groups continuing to distort the facts, a growing body of scientific research continues to strengthen the connection between dairy consumption and weight management. The research indicates that adults who get three servings of milk and milk products each day and follow a reduced-calorie diet can be more successful at weight management and weight loss than those who don’t. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) says it is happy to share this research and suggest reputable third-party resources for reporters to contact while researching this topic. IDFA has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and leading nutrition experts to communicate to adults that eating three servings each day of milk, cheese or yogurt can help in their weight-loss efforts when coupled with calorie restriction. This is not a “dairy diet,” notes IDFA, but rather a recommendation that people shouldn’t cut out milk and dairy products when they’re trying to lose weight.
The California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) is accepting nominations through September 23 for the second William C. Haines Dairy Science Award. The award honors individuals who work in support of dairy science. U.S. and international scientists who have made a significant contribution to dairy science and the betterment of the dairy industry through research and development in the field of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, technology, nutrition and/or engineering are eligible for the award, which includes a plaque, cash prize of $1,000, travel expenses and the opportunity to make a presentation at a dairy industry event co-sponsored by the CDRF. For more information, visit www.cdrf.org.