The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted nine requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and United Dairymen of Arizona. These cooperatives have contracts to sell 1.04 million pounds (473 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese, 262,350 pounds (119 metric tons) of butter and 923,737 pounds (419 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia and North Africa. The product has been contracted for delivery from May-October 2018.

Total 2018 export sales from CWT-assisted member cooperative include 33.77 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 9.82 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) and 923,737 pounds of whole milk powder to 25 countries on five continents. These sales are the equivalent of 539.45 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

This activity reflects CWT management beginning the process of implementing the strategic plan approved by the CWT Committee in March. The changes will enhance the effectiveness of the program and facilitate member export opportunities. The revisions to the program’s operating procedures, effective April 18, 2018, include:

  • extending eligibility to whole milk powder and blends of natural cheeses (e.g. Colby/Jack);
  • establishing eligible volumes of butter and whole milk powder at a maximum of 150 MT;
  • establishing eligible volumes of cheese at a maximum of 300 MT;
  • extending the delivery period for cheese to 180 days;
  • allowing exceptions to the volume and delivery periods for butter and whole milk powder, if merited.

These provisions are the first in a series of anticipated changes to the operating procedures. CWT management is currently evaluating the possibility of adding items to the list of eligible products. More information concerning these additions will be released as appropriate.

Both now and in the years ahead, a thriving dairy export sector will be critical to the growth and viability of dairy farmers across the country. Whether a cooperative is actively engaged in exporting cheese, butter or whole milk powder, the domestic market cannot absorb the current level of domestic milk production. CWT provides a way to move domestic dairy products to overseas markets by helping to overcome certain disadvantages, such as the domestic/global price gap and shipping costs.

The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers. The money raised by their investment is being used to strengthen and stabilize the dairy farmers’ milk prices and margins. For more information about CWT, visit www.cwt.coop.