Why the Milk Monopoly Is Faltering

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Dean Foods, the largest dairy processor in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2019. Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) — the largest dairy co-op in the U.S. — may end up buying Dean Foods, forming an even larger dairy monopoly
  • The merger would pose a serious conflict of interest for dairy farmers, as DFA is supposed to advocate for farmers but would end up being a processor. As such, they’d have an interest in keeping milk prices low, at the detriment of the dairy farmers they represent
  • Milk is a perfect example of how your choices are being restricted for no other reason than to benefit big business. Raw milk is banned in many states on the basis of claims that it may make you sick. In sharp contrast to the U.S., many European countries sell raw milk in vending machines
  • In recent years, an increasing number of Americans have embraced organics and everything that goes with it, including minimal processing, higher nutrient density, fewer chemical contaminants, animal welfare, food safety and environmental regeneration
  • The dairy monopoly doesn’t seem to understand modern consumers, as it ignores all of the concerns that have brought organics from a small specialty niche into mainstream prominence. The failure to give consumers what they want is killing the dairy industry

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