Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sour milk news. As the churn turns.

West coast milk producer Crystal was bought by East Coast dairy giant HP Hood LLC. This has caused nearly half of the dairy farms in Sacramento to be threatened with closure. Future sours for some small dairies: Milk-processing limits, sale of Crystal threaten nearly half of county's farmers. I wonder if this affects any of our local dairies? I buy mostly Humboldt Creamery - Company products. The milk just tastes better.

I understand milk is world globally traded dairy commodities (cheese, milk powder, butter and whey) so the price is regulated, but why does it seem to follow the trend of Gasoline? (Both around $3.79 a gallon locally.) If we are producing too much, we should have a mechanism to get more of the dairy products to our schools or food banks at a lower cost. Or sent overseas to nations in desperate need.

11 comments:

rick said...

What I can tell ya about the dairy industry, All my information is from the late 80s, My brother and I owned a small milk distributorship. We bought are milk from the Humboldt Creamery.
And there is government regulations, Cause they do buy the excess. HCC was shipping 3-5 rail cars of grade b powder milk and butter a week. I dont know what they do today. And because the government buys the excess, HCC can not sell it for less than 10% above thier cost.
And as far as the commodity market, That is controlled by the traders, Not the government, ie oil,soy,metals, and other commodities.
Those are the reg as I know them from the 80s and do stand corrected.
Rick

Fred said...

California milk is supposedly more expensive than milk from out of state because milk sold in California is required to have additives in it, pretty much useless additives I'm told. Even the Center for Science in the Public Interest- hardly a freedom oriented group- has said the milk solids added do next to nothing.

The additives are simply there to cut competition for California dairies. Dairies from out of state don't want to go through the cost and hassle of the additives so they can't sell their milk in California markets thus you pay higher prices for milk.

A few years ago State Senator, Carol Midgen, tried to get rid of the additives regulation but got nowhere fast. The dairy industry is one of California's more powerful forces.

Anonymous said...

Additives?????? Ring a bell why Ca. gas prices are highest in the nation Ca. has made it hard on all industry the Ca. dairy industry is very powerfull they have been successful in keeping out competitors but that cost gets passed on to us.

Fred said...

Yep. Gas is more expensive here, than anywhere else in the nation, because we require a different formulation for it.

rick said...

Fred do tell. What extra formula do they add. And is the fuel on the north coast oxygenated from october to march.
Rick

Fred said...

Is MTBE the one, or one of the additives? I'm not sure but I know that's the stuff that was leaking out of storage tanks and contaminating groundwater.

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Carol said...

Being form the east coast, I recognize Hood dairy products.

On a tour of Humboldt Creamery back in the early 1990's with my daughter's kindergarten class, we were told that much of the local milk was dehydrated and sold to the former Soviet Union. I am not sure if this is still the case.

Anonymous said...

Ca. milk is required to have higher milk solids.

Anonymous said...

I have been buying Hood Calorie Countdown for almost 2 years at $3.59 for a half gallon. The store I buy it from was having difficulty getting it from the warehouse and it would be a month sometimes before the warehouse would have it in stock. I called Hood to find out what the problem was and they said they were working on acquiring a local dairy to produce the needed ingredients. I had a feeling then they were in the process of buying more than a dairy! Since the Calorie Countdown is Low Carb, Hood uses Cream in the process which makes it more expensive. However, when I had to live in Oklahoma for 2 months last Summer and shopped at a Wal Mart Supercenter, the price was only $2.50 for a half gallon! Of course everything is cheaper at WM because they buy in bulk. Cereal that costs $5.19 here was less than $3.00. It's all relative though. You would have to want to live in Oklahoma and make next to nothing in wages. Sorry for rambling on. LOL

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