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Consolidation of the dairy sector generates excess milk in the US

Updated Nov 11, 2021
Food prices in the United States (US) are on the rise, but not average milk prices – they have basically remained the same since January. That's because the US generally has an oversupply of milk and this has gotten worse in recent decades as smaller farms have closed and larger farms have bought their herds and have increasingly dominated the industry. It's a problem lawmakers have struggled to address for years.
And it is not clear whether this Government will address this issue, as the prices of other foods have risen much more as a result of supply chain disruptions induced by the pandemic. The Biden government has pledged to address antitrust issues in industries ranging from technology to meatpacking. But so far, the dairy sector hasn't been the focus, in part because consumers aren't seeing significantly higher prices as a result of consolidation. Overall, the US has produced more milk than it can consume. “The availability and supply of milk is not a concern, the concern is moving the milk to where it's needed,” said Matt Herrick of the International Dairy Foods Association, one of the largest dairy lobby groups in the US. Small dairy farmers expected the Biden administration to face dairy consolidation early on, especially after the Obama administration made a commitment, but backed off after the dairy lobby backed off. Vilsack, who had been agriculture secretary during the Obama ...
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