Straus calls for support of GMO labeling

Straus Family Creamery sent an email to customers asking it to supports its efforts to remove genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, from the food supply. Straus Family Creamery has been Non-GMO Project verified since 2010. The company acknowledges that ridding the food supply of GMS "is a long road and there are several things that have to happen first."

Its email message continues: "There are two major initiatives that have recently mobilized to achieve GMO labeling: The Just Label It Campaign and the 2012 Ballot Initiative Campaign to Label GMOs in California." The company urges supports to send a comment in support of the Just Label It petition to the FDA; sign up as a signature gatherer for the 2012 GMO Ballot Initiative to Label GMOs in California;and forward the email to friends and family.


Foremost Farms offers scholarships

Co-op Foremost Farms USA, is offering as many as 10 ten scholarships worth $2,000 each to member-owners and the children of member-owners in 2012. The Agricultural Education Scholarships will be awarded to students who are pursuing a career in the agricultural field. The application deadline is Feb. 24, 2012, and scholarships will be awarded in the spring of 2012.

The application is available for download from the “Member Benefits” section of Foremost Farms’ website at: or by calling (800) 362-9196, ext. 8798.

Foremost Farms USA, headquartered in Baraboo, Wis., is a cooperative owned by 2,100 dairy farmers in the Upper Midwest. The cooperative’s 1,100 employees manufacture and market many varieties of American and Italian cheese, whey-based ingredients, butter and bulk fluid milk to domestic and international customers. Foremost Farms’ 16 plants are located in Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

Investor buys Yarnell's assetsThe Associated Press reported this week that major assets of Yarnell's Ice Cream Co.,  Searcy, Ark., have been sold for $1.3 million to a Chicago company that could reopen the plant. Schulze and Burch Biscuit Co. purchased some Yarnell's equipment and its real estate during a bankruptcy auction Wednesday, Nov. 30. Schulze and Burch has a toaster-pastry and granola bar business in Searcy. Yarnell's filed for bankruptcy in August after shutting down operations in June. It ranked 94 on the 2010 Dairy 100 with estimated 2009 sales of $65 million. The Dairy 100 is Dairy Foods annual ranking of North America's largest dairy processors.


U.S.cheese exports to South Korea rise

In the first nine months of this year, U.S. export shipments to South Korea were valued at $174 million, up 85% from the previous year, reports the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Arlington, Va. Cheese sales more than doubled, to 28,511 tons (62.9 million lbs.), and butter and lactose sales also were up significantly. The United States became Korea’s No. 1 cheese supplier, with a share of 45% and remained their top seller of whey proteins and lactose. Overall sales are on pace to approach $240 million this year, USDEC said.


Stremick's 8th Continent launches sweeps

On behalf of its 8th Continent soy milk, Stremick’s Heritage Foods launched the Ultimate Moms’ Club Sweepstakes, which offers one grand prize consisting of a roundtrip to Los Angeles, two nights hotel accommodations, two invitations to the Hollywood Moms Night gathering and a $5,000 technology program donation to a local school’s technology program of the winner’s choosing. Entrants submit to a 25-word essay via the website, The winner is chosen at random. The sweeps ends on Dec. 18.


Probiotic yogurt market in promo with Walmart

enLiven yogurt (, a low-cost probiotic yogurt sold  exclusively in Walmart, said it awarded $500 Walmart gift cards to the first winners in its "Yo Yo Yo Holiday Promo" that runs through Dec. 16.

The promotion awards 500 free 4-packs of enLiven yogurt plus $1,000 in Walmart gift cards. Enter the promotion at

Since the start of the promotion on Nov. 14,  the brand saw its Facebook fan base grow by 118% and Twitter following grow by 23%.


Dean Foods fights hunger

Dean Foods, Dallas,  was named a national Mission Partner by Feeding America for its efforts to fight hunger in the United Sates. Since 2008, Dean Foods says it has donated nearly 40 million pounds of food and dairy products, hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of volunteerism to fight hunger in communities  where it operates.

The company's Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar segment is the largest U.S. processor and distributor of milk, creamers, and cultured dairy products marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands, as well as through private labels. The WhiteWave segment produces and sells an array of branded dairy, soy and plant-based beverages and foods, including Silk soy, almond and coconut milk, Horizon Organic milk and dairy products, International Delight coffee creamers, and Land O Lakes creamers.

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity with a nationwide network of member food banks.


Saputo names new president, coo

Saputo Inc., Montreal, announced appointments in its senior management, effective April 1, 2012. Dino Dello Sbarba will be appointed president and Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Lino A. Saputo, Jr., who will remain Chief Executive Officer  and  Vice Chairman of the Board. Dello Sbarba has been with the Company since 1990 and has led various divisions within Saputo.

Lorenzo Spinelli will be named President and Chief Operating Officer, Dairy Products Division (Canada). Spinelli joined the Company in 1998.

Effecitve Jan. 9, 2012, Kai Bockmann  becomes President  and  Chief Operating Officer, Dairy Products Division (International); formerly known as the Dairy Products Divisions (Europe  and  Argentina).


Lifeway expands kefir distribution

Lifeway Foods Inc., Morton Grove, Ill., has expanded distribution of its  flagship line, Kefir, into 125 Galaxy stores, 111 Lowes supermarkets, 85 IGA supermarkets, and 81 Sam's Club retail locations. Lifeway's kefir officially became in the four major retailers as of Dec. 1. The company said it expects to expand marketing and advertising to support sales at the retail chains.


Dutch cheese is out of this world. Literally

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers received NASA’s formal consent to take his favorite cheese – Old Amsterdam – on his next space mission in December 2011. Old Amsterdam is a brand of the Westland company in Huizen, The Netherlands. Kuipers will share Old Amsterdam premium Aged Gouda with the American and Russian colleagues on board. Kuipers is allowed to take nine containers of bonus food, every one of them carrying two pieces of Old Amsterdam cheese. The cheese has to be sealed in such a way that it can be kept for over a year.


U.S. cheesemakers honored at World Cheese Awards

Sartori said its limited-edition Cognac BellaVitano was named "Best USA Cheese," received a Super Gold Medal, and finished third in the world overall at the 2011 World Cheese Awards in Birmingham, England. Sartori also took home an additional five gold medals and a bronze.

Also, Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (VBCC) won five awards, including three gold medals for its goats milk and mascarpone cheeses.

In all, United States cheese makers came away with 85 medals at last week’s World Cheese Awards, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. USDEC reported that 46 U.S. companies entered 383 U.S.-made cheeses. Carr Valley paced the field with 11 medals.


Voters to choose Baskin-Robbins July flavor of the monthBaskin-Robbins selected 10 finalists in its second National Online Flavor Creation Contest. The winning flavor, based on online voting, will be the July 2012 Flavor of the Month. The 10 flavor creations are:

  1. Magic Bar: a seven-layer bar consists of coconut ice cream, dark fudge, graham cracker and chocolate chips.
  2. Lemon Icebox Pie: lemon ice cream, whipped cream swirls and honey-sweet graham cracker pieces.
  3. Snap Crackle and Caramel: white chocolate mousse ice cream with chocolate rice crunchies and caramel sauce.
  4. Carmel Batter Bash: Cake Batter ice cream with Heath Bar and chocolate chips.
  5. Chippity Chocolately Chew: Chocolate Chip ice cream with a fudge ribbon and fudge brownie pieces.
  6. Cold Mine: Chocolate ice cream with an Oreo icing ribbon, walnuts and fudge brownie pieces.
  7. Nutty Creamcheese Brownie: Chocolate fudge ice cream with a cream cheese ribbon, walnuts and fudge brownie pieces.
  8. She Devil Pie: Strawberry ice cream with a cream cheese ribbon mixed with pie crust and strawberry pieces.
  9. Chocolate Cookie Crumble: Chocolate ice cream with an Oreo icing ribbon with chocolate chips and Oreo cookies.
  10. Blueberry Bliss:White Mousse ice cream with blueberries, almond pieces and chocolate flakes.

Voting continues through Dec.12 at


Investors take a stake in Rita's Water Ice

Private equity firm Falconhead Capital, New York, acquired a controlling stake in Rita's Water Ice Franchise Co., Trevose, Pa. Jim Rudolph has retained a minority stake and has been named Vice Chairman.  Thomas Christopoul, an Operating Partner at Falconhead, has been named Chairman and interim Chief Executive Officer of Rita's. A search is underway for a full time Chief Executive Officer. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Rita's was founded in 1984 by Bob Tumolo, a former Philadelphia firefighter who, alongside his mother Elizabeth and brother John, made and sold Italian Ice from their small porch window.  Today, the brand has approximately 550 franchise locations in 18 states.


DMI honored for its work with McDonald's

Dairy Management Inc.'s dairy checkoff  partnership with McDonald’s restaurants has been recognized as the top generic marketing campaign by The International Milk Promotion (IMP) Group, a task force within the International Dairy Federation (IDF). It is the first time since the award’s inception in 1989 that a “non-advertising” campaign entry has won.

DMI told the story of how the checkoff works with McDonald’s to offer consumers great-tasting, nutritious dairy-based menu options. Since 2004, when McDonald’s introduced 8-ounce Milk Jugs of low-fat white or chocolate milk, the dairy checkoff has worked with McDonald’s to launch various dairy-friendly offerings. The current three-year partnership led the introduction of new dairy-friendly menu offerings, including:

•      McCafé, which features several varieties of specialty coffee drinks in which milk is the dominant ingredient

•      Frappés, made with 50 percent dairy

•      Improved shakes topped with real whipped cream

•      Angus Third Pounder sandwiches, which use two slices of cheese

•      Real Fruit Smoothies with low-fat yogurt