Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has initiated a membership drive to boost participation in the self-help program during the next two years, with the goal of signing up at least 75% of the nation's milk in order to fully fund a robust Export Assistance program.
"Focusing CWT's efforts exclusively on helping sell U.S.-made dairy products into foreign markets will have a positive impact on all dairy farmers," said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF, which manages CWT. "With the investment in CWT at two cents per hundredweight by all dairy farmers, we believe the Export Assistance program will be extremely effective in enhancing and maintaining producer's margins."
An analysis by the National Milk Producers Federation's Vice President of Market and Economic Research, Dr. Peter Vitaliano, demonstrates the effectiveness of the Export Assistance program in enhancing dairy farmer revenue, and the value and importance of continuing the program in the future. Over the life of the program, every dollar spent helping members export dairy products has returned $15.53.
CWT is expected to carry over $30 million from its 2009-2010 budget. These monies will provide the basic funding for the program in 2011 and 2012, and will be supplemented by the revenue generated from a two-year commitment by cooperative and individual producers marketing a minimum of 75% of the eligible milk production. Kozak said CWT needs a commitment from at least 75% of the nation's milk supply to the two cent (2¢) per hundredweight level in order for the assessment to go into effect.
A narrated copy of Dr. Vitaliano's presentation is available for downloading from the CWT website www.cwt.coop. A brochure that describes the benefit to all producers of the Export Assistance program and a membership form is also available on the website. A CD of the presentation, copies of the brochure and membership forms are also available by emailing a request to [email protected] or by calling toll free 1-888-463-6298.