Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has withdrawn its membership from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) following the latter's petition to modify the Federal Milk Marketing Order. 

DFA issued a statement, noting it has been a longstanding member of IDFA with 83 processing plants. "DFA appreciates the significant value IDFA provides in supporting the dairy processing and manufacturing sector," the statement read.

"While IDFA generally maintains a neutral position on policies lacking full membership consensus, a critical exception was made earlier this year when they submitted a divisive milk pricing policy proposal to USDA," the statement continued. 

"This placed DFA in the untenable position of being represented as supporting a policy position, which contradicts what we believe to be in the best interests of our farmer-owners and the dairy industry," DFA concluded. "Following requests to return to a neutral policy position until a consensus position could be reached, DFA made the difficult decision to submit notice to withdraw from IDFA membership."

Dairy Foods reached out to IDFA and received the following response:

"IDFA cares deeply about the future of this industry and ensuring its stability, and we understand the pressure cooperatives are under with complexity and the challenge of balancing the interests of their farmer owners with their processing objectives," IDFA stated. "IDFA has a broad membership of hundreds that continues to include many dairy cooperatives as well as dairy companies from all segments of the dairy supply chain, from cooperatives to proprietary processors to retailers who produce their own private labels. No other dairy association has this kind of diverse, influential membership with a global footprint.

"Because we are a diverse membership and expect disagreements from time to time, our job is to be inclusive and balance those diverse interests," IDFA added. "We have been here before on federal order reform, and we are confident that we will come out of this stronger. We are confident that we are taking a balanced, inclusive approach that is in the best interest of the full dairy supply chain."