“Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has helped export 55.1 million pounds of American-style cheese in 2017,” said Jim Tillison (shown at right), who works with the National Milk Producers Federation. “More importantly, CWT helped export 94 percent of all American-style cheese in 2017,” he went on to say of the program where dairy farmers, through their dairy co-ops, voluntarily contribute 4 cents per hundredweight for the export assistance program.

The large majority of those cheese exports went to Southeast Asia, 76 percent in all, with Japan topping the list.

To qualify for export assistance, co-ops must submit bids. Each bid gets reviewed and an assistance offer from CWT is then sent back to the applicant. Through October, there have been 513 bids submitted for cheese with 360 being accepted. As for butter, 27 bids were sent to CWT administrators with 22 being accepted. In 2017, CWT helped export 4.6 million pounds of butter or 51 percent of all U.S. butter exports.

“The top butter export region was the Middle East, which purchased 61 percent of all U.S. butter exports,” said Tillison.

“Overall, CWT helped export 606.1 million pounds of milk equivalent so far in 2017,” Tillison went on to explain, speaking to the 800 people attending the joint annual meeting of the National Milk Producers Federation, the United Dairy Industry Association, and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board at their gathering in Anaheim, Calif.

“Since solely focusing on export assistance in 2010, CWT has helped export 10 billion pounds of milk equivalent,” he went on to say.

As for the future of the program, “The focus of CWT is presently being reviewed,” said Tom Balmer (shown center), executive vice president with the National Milk Producers Federation. “Once an updated plan is developed, it will be put out to co-ops for renewal in 2018.”

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
November 13, 2017
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