Fonterra will invest in a blending and packing plant in Indonesia. There is a growing demand for high-quality dairy nutrition in Indonesia, Fonterra said. The investment will support the local expansion of the Anlene, Anmum and Anchor Boneeto. Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings said Asia is leading the world in dairy demand growth and Indonesia is a big part of this demand. Fonterra currently packs and blends its consumer brands in New Zealand or through co-packers in Indonesia or in Asia.
My view: U.S. dairy processors have to look beyond our borders for international trading partners. Join the U.S. Dairy Export Council and tap its expertise.

Milk production in the 23 major States during March was up 4.3% from March 2011. February's revised production showed an 8.2% increase. From January through March, production is up 5.2%, according to the United States Department of Agriculture this week. To put a face on this increase, there is California Dairies Inc., the nation’s second largest dairy processing cooperative. On Monday, April 17, it cautioned its member-owners that penalties for overproduction of milk may be incurred per the terms of CDI’s internal supply management program. The program was designed to place limitations on the amount of milk that each member would be allowed to ship to the cooperative. Penalties may apply to those members who ship more milk than the baseline amount they were assigned. Westby Cooperative Creamery reported on record-setting milk supply and dairy foods production volumes during fiscal year 2011. 

Meanwhile, the National Milk Producers Federation and 28 other dairy and farm organizations sent a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee, urging inclusion of the Dairy Security Act in the upcoming new Farm Bill. The letter asserts that dairy farmers have “suffered financially because of extreme margin volatility – dramatic swings in the difference between milk prices and feed costs. The two programs that make up our federal dairy safety net – the Dairy Product Price Support Program and Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program – focus directly on milk prices. What U.S. dairy families need is a policy package focused on the margins between milk prices and feed costs.”

But that's not the end of the milk supply story this week. The buyers of that milk, processor members of the International Dairy Foods Association, will be in Washington next week to urge members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to oppose government-imposed limits on the milk supply and to adopt instead an insurance based safety net for dairy farmers.

My view: Farmers deserve a fair price, and this country needs their high-quality milk. But the processors have a point in their free-market arguments. Bottom line: I don't have skin in this game. Though I've probably said too much already, I'm staying on the sidelines for this debate.

HP Hood and the Boston Red Sox have begun accepting applications to replace the 12 outgoing Red Sox Kid Nation Captains. Children between the ages of 9 and 13 need to complete an entry form found at www. by May 25th. Each Captain must be willing to commit to a two-year term, during which he/she will:  

  • Develop and implement a community service project that will be supported by Hood, the Red Sox and all of Kid Nation.
  • Do whatever it takes to make Red Sox Kid Nation the BEST kids’ club in all of baseball.
  • Benefits include two tickets to a Red Sox game, a baseball jersey and free Hood ice cream for a year.

Applicants must answer the essay question: the essay question: "The Kid Nation Captains do a community service event each year to further this mission. What would you like the Kid Nation Captains to do to assist families in need?”
My view: At least they don't have to write about that Bill Buckner ground ball.

The new Interstate Milk Shippers List is out for the second quarter. The document from the Food and Drug Administration rates milk plants. It's a big deal, especially for those who score 100 on raw milk and on the enforcement rating..
My view: I used to eagerly anticipate the release of the Sears "wish book" at Christmas. Now it’s the IMSL. Where did I go wrong?

Bruce Tharp and Steven Young have an encyclopedic knowledge of making ice cream and frozen dessert. They demonstrated this week at the webinar "Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts: Formulating for Success." It's been archived and you can listen for free. See the link on
My view: These guys committed their encyclopedic knowledge to paper. Their encyclopedia is coming out this spring. Stay tuned!

Grafton Village Cheese’s Cave Aged Vermont Leyden cheese has been named a Silver Finalist for Outstanding Cheese in the 2012 sofi Awards from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.  (“sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.) The Vermont Leyden was one of the Silver Finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food experts. Gold Winners will be announced by noted chef José Andrés at a red-carpet ceremony June 18, 2012, at the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C.Leyden is a cows' milk cheese with a big, buttery flavor and texture which is brightened with cumin seeds.

My view: My wife grew up with Leyden cheese in Breda, Netherlands. A wine shop near our home sells Leyden. Now we'll keep a lookout for this Vermont-made version.

Back at  Westby Cooperative Creamery in Wisconsin, at the annual meeting, Keith Rach of Chaseburg, Wis., was elected an Ryan Dunnum re-elected to the board to serve a three-year term.  Members also honored Mark Levendoski, who retired from the Board of Directors after reaching his term tenure limit of 15 years. The newly formed board of directors elected Loren Oldenburg as President, Tom Schaub as Vice President, and Kay Yanske as Secretary/Treasurer.  The management team also reported on record-setting milk supply and dairy foods production volumes during fiscal year 2011.  Member-owners supplied over 120-million pounds of Grade-A rBST-free and Certified-Organic milk to their production facility on Main Street in downtown Westby, which manufactured over 20 million pounds of dairy food products, including cottage cheeses, sour creams, dairy dips, yogurts, cream cheeses, hard cheeses and cheese curds.

Greek yogurt maker Fage has tapped chef and health advocate Rocco DiSpirito as a celebrity spokesman. "Yogurt is one of my favorite foods and Fage Total is my go to yogurt. It's rich and thick but low in fat and calories, which makes it indispensable in my quest to cut calories from my favorite comfort foods," said DiSpirito.
My view: With DiSpirito endorsing Fage and John Stamos appearing in ads for Dannon's Oikos, you could say Greek yogurt attracts celebrities like flies to honey. On second thought, that analogy is rather unappetizing. Let's just say that a chef endorsement carries some weight, right, Paula Deen? Wait, that was just plain wrong.

Share your views in the comment box.

That's it for this week.