Posted July 15, 2014
The cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) have agreed to pay $50 million settlement to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers from a 2009 class-action lawsuit, according to an article on MSN by Lisa Rathke available here. The Portland Press Herald also published the article hereand The Wall Street Journal here.
The lawsuit charged the cooperative, its marketing agency, Dairy Marketing Services (DMA), and dairy processor Dean Foods with monopolizing the market for raw milk in the area that drove down prices paid to dairy farmers.
DFA did not admit to any wrongful actions under the settlement terms.
“While we believe the allegations against us were without merit and the activities of DFA, Dairy Marketing Service (DMS) and other affiliated milk marketing cooperatives in the Northeast benefited cooperative members and independent producers alike, the cost to continue to defend ourselves has become too great,” DFA said.
The settlement must be reviewed and approved by a judge.
In 2011, Dean Foods Co. agreed to a settlement of $30 million, but also did not admit to any wrongful actions.
For more information on agricultural cooperatives, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.