Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new in products, companies and marketing. In this issue:Farmers All Natural Creamery, Kroger, Pepsico, Swiss Valley Farms, CUPS Frozen Yogurt,International Dairy Foods Association and more.

Welcome to Jim Carper's Dairy Case, a look at the new dairy products, companies and marketing efforts making the news.


Dairy Groups Applaud Free Trade Agreements

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) applaud the passage Wednesday by the House and Senate of three free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia

“We wish to thank President Obama and his trade team, and leaders in both houses of Congress, who worked hard in recent months to make these favorable votes possible,” said Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer of NMPF.

“The FTAs will expand U.S. dairy exports and, when fully implemented, will create thousands of export-supporting jobs in the dairy industry,” said Tom Suber, president, USDEC. “We hope that all necessary steps can be taken in the coming months by all four countries so that the agreements may enter into force at the beginning of the year and benefits to the U.S. economy can begin to be felt immediately.”

“The U.S. dairy industry stands ready to assist in any way possible to help ensure that the FTAs take effect as soon as possible,” added Kozak. “Our producers are excited about the new export opportunities that will be realized once the agreements take effect, especially the trade pact with South Korea. The export gain for dairy from the Korea FTA in the first few years after implementation will be approximately $380 million per year, on average, and the gains from the Colombia and Panama FTAs will add another $50 million annually.”  


IDFA Likes Dairy Bill

Speaking about the Dairy Advancement Act of 2011, Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association said: "Now we are getting somewhere. The Dairy Advancement Act offered by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA), moves the dairy industry towards consensus on a path forward. Most importantly the bill will not hamstring our industry with a new government program to limit milk supply as does the controversial Peterson proposal. It sets no limits on the ability of dairy farmers to grow their businesses, and offers a safety net without strings attached. 

"Although this bill moves us in the right direction, the unwillingness of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to compromise and insist on proposals that will constrain the industry by limiting milk supply is disappointing. NMPF continues to refuse to seek consensus by insisting on the Peterson proposal that forces dairy producers to accept supply controls if they want to participate in margin insurance.

"We applaud Senator Casey's inclusion of critically needed risk management tools, particularly his call for an expansion of the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program. Instead of having its funding cut even further as was done for FY 2012, LGM-Dairy is the type of program that our government should encourage.


Better Business Bureau Head Says “Self-Regulation is Working”

The food and beverage industry has done a good job regulating itself when it comes to advertising aimed at children, and is continuing to formulate changes that make “voluntary government restrictions” unnecessary, according to Elaine D. Kolish, Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and Director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI). Kolish will testify tomorrow at a joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and the Subcommittee on Health.

“CFBAI is changing the landscape of child-directed food advertising in observable and meaningful ways,” says Kolish. “Our participants are committed to combating childhood obesity by restricting their child-directed advertising to healthier foods…or not engaging in such advertising at all.”

Kolish’s written testimony notes that the industry has voluntarily shifted the emphasis of their advertising to children to foods “that are substantially lower in total calories, lower in fats, salt, and added sugars, and higher in nutrient content,” which follows recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2006.


Kroger Recalls Private Label Ice Cream

The Kroger Co. recalled select containers of Private Selection Extreme Moose Tracks Ice Cream sold in 10 states because it may contain peanuts not listed on the label. Customers should return the product to stores for a full refund or replacement.

People who are allergic to peanuts could have a serious or life-threatening reaction if they consume this product. For consumers who are not allergic to peanuts, there is no safety issue with the product.

Kroger stores in the following states are included in this recall: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, portions of eastern Missouri, Ohio and northern Kentucky, South Carolina, and eastern Tennessee. The recall also includes Kroger stores in Illinois and Indiana that operate under the following banner names: Jay C, Food 4 Less (Chicago area), Owen's, Pay Less and Scott's.


Fluid Milk Recalled in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today said that whole milk with an expiration of October 22, 2011 from Farmers All Natural Creamery in Wellman, Iowa is the subject of a voluntary recall due to concerns that at least some of the milk from that facility may not have been properly pasteurized.

The Department conducted laboratory testing on the finished product by State Laboratory Evaluation Officers that have been certified by the FDA. The results tested positive for residual phosphatase indicating that the milk may not have been properly pasteurized and therefore could present a risk if consumed.

Farmers All Natural Creamery believes 954 gallons of milk have been sold to four distributors; UNFI (Aurora, CO), UNFI (Lancaster, TX), Calma Optimal (Franklin Park, IL), and Natural brands (Wood Dale, IL).

The milk was manufactured on October 3rd with an October 22, 2011 sell by date. Milk from Farmers All Natural Creamery can be identified by the plant number 19888 printed on all gallon containers. The four distributors have since been notified and milk is being pulled from shelves. If the public has any concerns they should return the milk to the store it was purchased.



Pepsi Eyes U.S. Yogurt Market

According to Zacks Investment Research: "The world’s leading beverage and snacks maker Pepsico Inc. (NYSE:PEP) has decided to put its footing into the yogurt world, as it inches toward a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Muller Group. By virtue of the deal, Pepsi and Theo Muller will launch a yogurt brand in the U.S., which still awaits christening. Theo Muller is Germany’s largest privately-owned dairy business with operations in many other European countries as well as Israel. The group has strong brands like Muller, Weihenstephan, Sachsenmilch and Käserei Loose in its portfolio. Retail brands and basic dairy products include butter, UHT-milk, lactose powder and whey protein complements the portfolio.

Read the entire story here.


Swiss Valley Farms Moves Platteville Production

Swiss Valley Farms has transitioned production of its Baby Swiss wheels, loaves and no-salt-added Swiss blocks from its former manufacturing site in Platteville, WI to White Hill Cheese Co., LLC, in Shullsburg, WI. Swiss Valley Farms entered into a joint venture with Emmi-Roth Käse USA to establish White Hill Cheese in August of 2010, with the goal of increasing production of Baby Swiss and other Swiss varieties. According to Swiss Valley Farms CEO Don Boelens, the relocation of production to the Shullsburg location was eminent. “We were eager to move our Platteville production to a more modern and expanded facility, and we found that opportunity with White Hill,” said Boelens. The Shullsburg site, which was acquired by Swiss Valley Farms in 2005, consists of a 24,000 sq. ft. cheese manufacturing plant, a 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse and a waste-water treatment facility.

Because the new site is located in Southwestern Wisconsin, Boelens noted that Swiss Valley Farms cooperative members are unaffected by the shift. “Co-op member milk is the sole milk supplier to White Hill, which means there is still a secure market for our members’ milk,” Boelens said.


Fro-Yo Maker Supports National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

CUPS Frozen Yogurt, the beach-themed self-serve fro-yo concept, is offering two pink yogurt flavors in October in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to raise funds for the North Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The two flavors - Very Strawberry and Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet - are featured in October with a portion of sales of those flavors donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure North Jersey. Special toppings for October include strawberries and pink candy coated chocolate drops. CUPS has committed to a minimum donation of $5,000. Additionally, CUPS is selling specially designed pink T-shirts for $20 with the saying "Save the Tatas, Fill Your Cup." All proceeds from the T-shirts benefit the Komen Foundation.
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