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US: Settlement approved in dairy antitrust case

 |  June 15, 2016

A seven-year long battle between dairy farmers and the large dairy companies that buy raw milk came to an end last week. A federal judge approved the settlement of an antitrust case that alleged that Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Marketing Services, and Dean Foods worked together to drive down milk prices in the Northeast. Farmers in eleven states, including New Hampshire and the District of Columbia, will be getting payments under the agreement. New Hampshire farmer Steve Taylor helped outline the settlement conditions. He joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss the lawsuit.

The conditions were that there was a very rapid contraction in the opportunities that farmers had for marketing their milk. A generation ago, farmers in New Hampshire might have had eight or ten different markets they could go to with their milk. But now, it was coming down to a point where there were really only two options.

There was a widespread fear that this concentration was leading to a manipulation of the market, because large dairy corporations have tremendous power to control the flow of milk from the farm to various markets. And the farmers were coming out as the losers in the whole process.

Full Content: New Hampshire Public Radio

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