USDA working with dairy industry to ensure Americans’ consistent access to milk

March 25, 2020

Well-functioning agricultural markets ensure that critical food supplies are consistently available to consumers. During this national emergency, USDA knows that America’s farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers are on the front lines keeping grocery store shelves stocked with a safe and reliable food supply. Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urged industry experts to contact with ideas or solutions to encourage collaboration that will ensure the food supply chain remains strong. USDA is committed to working with the industry to find solutions and provide regulatory flexibility as the industry quickly adjusts to the measures needed to mitigate COVID-19.

In response to questions from the dairy industry, USDA will be implementing allowable flexibilities for the benefit of dairy farmers and fluid milk handlers to ensure they can meet the changing consumer demand within the Federal milk marketing order program. The flexibilities will meet changing needs of both the dairy farmer and dairy processor and manufacturing communities to ensure efficient milk movements from farm to table. USDA wants the public to feel reassured that retail outlets will have milk available. USDA will continue to work together with the dairy industry as we all seek to “do right and feed everyone.” For specific information regarding changes affecting individual Federal milk marketing orders, please contact your local Market Administrator’s office.

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