July Cheese Report

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.02 billion pounds, 1.4 percent above July 2015 and 2.6 percent above June 2016.

Italian type cheese production totaled 444 million pounds, 3.2 percent above July 2015 and 2.3 percent above June 2016.

American type cheese production totaled 398 million pounds, 0.2 percent above July 2015 and 2.2 percent above June 2016.

U.S. export volume down 16 percent from a year ago

WASHINGTON — U.S. dairy exports of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose totaled 302.5 million pounds in September, down 16 percent from a year ago and down 9 percent from August, according to the latest reports from USDA and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). USDEC notes that this marks the lowest monthly volume in 18 months, and volumes have fallen since March’s record 441.2 million pounds of dairy exports. (The figures released by USDA and USDEC are in metric tons; Cheese Market News has converted the data to pounds by multiplying by 2,204.6.)

USDEC says this decline has been triggered by several developments worldwide. Milk supplies have significantly increased in Europe and Oceania, while China’s buying has slowed and Russia has instituted a ban on products from Europe and others. Read more

Dairy industry debates milk pricing bill

Dairy farmers are taking a skeptical look at a new bill that would change how California sets prices for its milk.

The measure, Assembly Bill 2730, would allow processors and farmers to enter into agreements outside the complex 1960s-era formula for setting minimum prices. The change would apply to milk bound for cheese and butter plants, about 80 percent of the total.

The bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, and the chief co-sponsor is state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani. Both are Democrats based in Stockton; Galgiani also represents Modesto. Read more

Guest Post: Entrepreneurs & Educated Consumers Will Disrupt The Future of Eating & Farming

Guest post by Niko Hrdy, President at Valley Oak Investments, LP. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Food+Tech Connect. 

I grew up on a farm that nestles up against the coastal range on the western side of California’s Central Valley, which spans some of the richest ground in the history of civilization. By rich I don’t mean money-rich. Rather, I mean that provided you can access and apply water, the ground around where I grew up will yield more than 50 tons of tomatoes per acre.

As a boy, I helped my dad by spreading turkey manure in his organic walnut orchards, and when the sheep got loose did my part catching them. It comes naturally for me to visualize where artichokes and arugula are grown and where my lamb chops come from. But this is no longer the typical experience growing up in America. As our society has continued on the path of urbanization, people have lost that connection to the food they eat. Read more

Agropur Acquires Davisco Foods International and Doubles its Processing Business in the United States

APPLETON, WI, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Agropur, Canada’s largest dairy cooperative, and Davisco Foods International, a US-based cheese and dairy ingredients company, today announced they have entered into an agreement for Agropur to acquire the dairy processing assets of Davisco.

The acquisition is targeted to close August 1, 2014, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. This transaction will double Agropur’s US processing operations and will increase its global milk intake by 50%. It will also strengthen its position in the North American and international dairy industries. Read more

California’s drought likely to cost $2.2bn in agricultural losses this year says study

The worst drought in decades that is ravaging California’s farmers is likely to cost the state’s economy around $2.2bn, with almost 4% of farm jobs expected to be cut.

That is the view of a new report from the University of California, Davis which says that California agriculture is weathering the drought because of groundwater reserves. However, it states that the “nation’s produce basket may come up dry in the future if it continues to treat those reserves like an unlimited savings account”. Read more

Game Changer: FDA Rules No Wooden Boards in Cheese Aging

A sense of disbelief and distress is quickly rippling through the U.S. artisan cheese community, as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced it will not permit American cheesemakers to age cheese on wooden boards.

Recently, the FDA inspected several New York state cheesemakers and cited them for using wooden surfaces to age their cheeses. The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets’ Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services, which (like most every state in the U.S., including Wisconsin), has allowed this practice, reached out to FDA for clarification on the issue. A response was provided by Monica Metz, Branch Chief of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s (CFSAN) Dairy and Egg Branch. Read more