IDFA Slams Dairy Security Act

Connie Tipton, President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, called the Dairy Security Act "bad policy and a bad deal for the American public" in an open letter to Congress this week. The Act, she wrote, "would increase deficit spending over the long term, harm our nation’s economy by limiting the dairy industry’s ability to grow and to create jobs, and increase dairy producers' dependency on government programs instead of moving them toward open markets."


Low-fat Dairy Products Linked To Better Health

Low-fat dairy product and yogurt consumption are associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes among post-menopausal women, according to a recent prospective study published in the November issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

“Type 2 diabetes is a debilitating and costly disease that could, if not reined in over the next 10 to 20 years, break the health care bank,” said Gregory Miller, Ph.D., president of the Dairy Research Institute and executive vice president of the National Dairy Council. “This research contributes to a growing body of work that indicates adequate amounts of dairy may play an important role in decreasing the risk of this disease."Read the study here.



Karoun Says "Serve Cheese For The Holidays"

Karoun Dairies, Turlock, Calif., promotes the use of cheese platters as a table center piece for the holidays. It says by combining its string cheese, Yanni grilling cheese, and feta cheese onto a plate," the problem of serving an easy holiday appetizer is solved."

Its string cheese is hand-pulled and hand-braided. Yanni grilling cheese (in three flavors: original, jalapeno and mint) is a traditional semi-firm Mediterranean cheese with a distinctive layered texture that is mildly salty with a rich buttery taste. It develops a golden crust when grilled. Feta cheese baskets come ready to serve in an easy-to-open package which can be used as a serving container as well. Feta is available in original, green Olives and thyme, kalamata olives and thyme, and thyme and red pepper.


Foremost Farms Honored For Its Cheddar

An extra sharp cheddar cheese made by Foremost Farms USA was awarded the Grand Champion Cheese award at the 2011 National Milk Producers Federation's cheese competition. The cheese, made in Marshfield, Wis., received a score of 99.8 from the judges. The Foremost Farms Cheddar was selected from among 149 entries.


California's Challenge Butter Moves Into Midwest Market

Challenge Dairy, a wholly owned subsidiary of California Dairies Inc., is selling its Challenge butter in the Midwest. Challenge is the largest butter brand in the West. Unsalted and salted varieties of Challenge Butter are hitting Wal-Mart shelves in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky this month in addition to Dominick’s in the Chicago area. This expansion follows Challenge’s entrance into the exporting arena in 2008 and its position today as the largest exporter of butter in the United States.



3Q Sales Up 22% at Lifeway Foods

Lifeway mascot

Lifeway Foods, Morton Grove, Ill., this week said third quarter gross sales increased 22% to $19.4 million compared to $15.9 million for the third quarter of 2010. Operating income decreased to $1.6 million in the third quarter of 2011 compared to $1.9 million in the same period last year. The decrease in operating income is due to increased operating expenses in the third quarter of 2010 as compared to the third quarter of 2011

The company attributed the increase in sales primarily to increased sales and growing awareness of the benefits of Lifeway's flagship line, Kefir, as well as ProBugs Organic Kefir for kids, and the successful introduction of new product lines such as Bio Kefir. In addition, Lifeway Frozen Kefir contributed approximately $0.3 million in sales during the third quarter of 2011. The frozen kefir line was launched in April 2011.


Chobani Exports Yogurts To Canada, Australia

Chobani, Norwich, N.Y., announced this week that it is exporting its Greek yogurt to Australia and Canada. Earlier in the month, it announced plans to build a $100 million state-of-the-art, high-capacity production facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, on 200 acres of agricultural and industrial land. It has a plant in South Edmeston, N.Y.

Chobani is selling seven flavors in Australia: peach, blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, mango, passion fruit, and pineapple. They are sold in Woolworths stores throughout New South Wales.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. Is the test market retail partner in the greater Toronto area for a one-year period. It will sell five flavors (black cherry, strawberry, peach, plain and pomegranate) in a variety of Loblaw banner stores in and around Toronto and Hamilton.


HP Hood Plant Honored For Safety

The HP Hood/Penn Maid extended shelf life (ESL) dairy products plant in Philadelphia, was officially recognized this week as one of fewer than 60 businesses in the state to be SHARP certified. SHARP, which stands for Safety Health Achievement Recognition Program, is a cooperative with OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is awarded to employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.

 The HP Hood/Penn Maid plant is the only dairy producer in Pennsylvania to achieve designation as a SHARP certified business.

Ron Nelson, is the plant manager. The Penn Maid ESL facility was also honored with the 2010 Pennsylvania Governor’s Safety Award.

Other HP Hood facilities that have achieved SHARP status are fluid milk plants in Concord, N.H.; Portland, Maine; and Barre, Vt.; a cultured products plant in Arkport, N.Y.; and two Heluva Good! plants in Sodus and Wolcott, N.Y.




Marketing Efforts Boost Milk Sales By 7 Billion Pounds

The dairy checkoff’s strategy of working with food and dairy industry partners is helping to “navigate a new course” for dairy producers. They have directly contributed more than 7 billion additional pounds of milk sales since January 2010, according to speakers at the 2011 National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB)/National Milk Producers Federation/United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) Joint Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Ryan Anglin, an Arkansas dairy producer and NDB chair, pointed to partnerships with industry leaders, including McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza. Working with the checkoff to create more dairy-friendly items, McDonald's grew additional milk sales by more than 1 billion pounds.

The in-school Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program encourages students to consume nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, and to have 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

“The program has obvious benefits to students and schools, but it also is a ‘win’ for dairy producers,” Siebenborn said. “It protects our freedom to operate in schools by helping ensure that milk, cheese and yogurt remain viable food choices on the school meal line, and in breakfast and after-school options.”


HP Hood Seeks Scholar Athletes

Hood sportsmanship

HP Hood, Lynnfield, Mass., is awarding 18 $5,000 scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate integrity and sportsmanship on and off the field. Three high school seniors in each of the six New England states -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont -- will be awarded a $5,000 college scholarship for a total of $90,000. The Hood Sportsmanship Scholarship presented by Hood Milk is open to seniors enrolled in a high school in one of the six New England states. Seniors must be attending a two- or four-year accredited college or university in the fall of 2012 and meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA
  • Participated in a varsity sport in high school
  • Volunteered in his/her community
  • Displayed a high degree of sportsmanship while participating in sports in high school

For rules and regulations, see


Dairy Council, Quaker Oats Promote Breakfast for Children

The National Dairy Council and The Quaker Oats Co. a division of PepsiCo, announced a partnership that will leverage the strengths of both organizations to develop effective programs in schools and other channels to increase children’s access to breakfast, nutritious snacks and physical activity.

“Decades of nutrition research and in-school programs have helped the National Dairy Council fight against poor nutrition, inactivity, and obesity among children. Dairy farmers are excited to extend their long-standing commitment to children’s health and nutrition by partnering with Quaker Oats to address the need for wholesome, balanced meals for children,” said Thomas Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., the non-profit organization which manages the National Dairy Council.



California Dairies Inc., Visalia, Calif., appointed Andrei Mikhalevsky as president and chief executive officer effective Jan. 1, 2012. Mikhalevsky will succeed Richard L. Cotta, who will retire on Dec. 31, 2011. CDI is the nation’s second largest dairy processing cooperative.

Mikhalevsky brings more than 35 years of leadership experience to CDI. For the past five years he has served as the managing director of global ingredients and foodservices at Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy exporter. Previously, Mikhalevsky held executive positions at Campbell Soup Co., Georgia Pacific and Symrise Inc.