News Wire

Two Pennsylvania senators introduced two new dairy bills that would simplify milk pricing under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, require mandatory reporting of dairy prices on a regular basis and make dairy forward contracting permanent and available to processors and cooperatives. The Federal Milk Market Improvement Act of 2007 would reduce the number of classes of milk from four to two; all milk used for manufacturing purposes would be classified as Class II milk. The National Dairy Policy Reform Bill would create a Milk Target Price Program to pay farmers when the price of Class III milk falls below a trigger price of $12 per hundred­weight.
A New York federal judge has rejected a motion by Italian dairy giant Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A. to dismiss the case brought by investors seeking to recover billions of dollars in claims against the company tied to an alleged massive accounting fraud that led to its bankruptcy in 2003. The judge rejected arguments by Parmalat’s new management that because the alleged fraud had been committed before the company was reorganized, investor claims brought in 2004 were invalid. 
Rocky Hill, Conn.-based Celebration Foods, manufacturer of Carvel ice cream cakes sold in grocery stores across the country, has announced the building of a new manufacturing facility and headquarters in New Britain, Conn. The 120,000-square-foot building is part of a major expansion effort that management says will allow the company to begin making new indulgent desserts.
Wilbraham, Mass.-based Friendly Ice Cream Corp. has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Freeze Operations Holding Corp. for $337.2 million in an all-cash transaction. The deal has been unanimously endorsed by Friendly’s board of directors, which was expected to recommend that shareholders approve the deal.
A new Alaska state agriculture board has dismissed members of a board overseeing Anchorage-based processor Matanuska Maid, installed itself as the creamery board and canceled an earlier decision to shutter the cash-strapped, state-owned company. Mat Maid was expected to stay open at least three more months using a $600,000 state grant for dairy operations, and to work with a task force to come up with a long-term plan. The company reportedly lost an average of $170,000 a month this year. Mat Maid was taken over by the state in the mid-1980s after the company went bankrupt.
The Scientific and Communication Advisory Board of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP), Rosemont, Ill., met recently for the first time in suburban Chicago to provide direction on potential scientific research and communication issues that GDP will focus on in the coming year. Scheduled to meet regularly, the GDP advisory group consists of many of the world’s authorities in health and dairy nutrition from academia and the corporate world.
In an effort to improve marketing conditions for dairy farmers in the greater Pacific Northwest region, Seattle-based Northwest Dairy Association (NDA) and Kansas City, Mo.-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (DFA) have agreed to work together on certain milk marketing efforts. NDA and DFA are proposing an expansion of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Federal Milk Marketing Order to include the states of Idaho and Utah. They also are developing marketing agencies in common (MACs) in Idaho, Utah and Washington.
Morton Grove, Ill.-based Lifeway Foods Inc., a leading manufacturer of kefir and provider of other natural and organic dairy products, has signed a distribution agreement with US Foodservice, the second-largest broad-line foodservice distributor in the country.
Waupun, Wis.-based Alto Dairy Cooperative has announced its alliance with Fromartharie Inc., Millington, N.J. to market their Black Creek® Classic Cheddar cheese nationwide.