Services We Provide
Dairy Institute is the singular regulatory and legislative advocate for its member companies before all branches of California state government. At the same time, Dairy Institute offers a variety of member services and benefits geared toward the overall goal of the organization – the success of our member companies and the development of a strong, innovative and efficient California dairy industry.
While many of Dairy Institute’s activities are conducted on behalf of our entire membership, individual member service is a key component of the work of Dairy Institute staff.
When members have problems with government agencies, staff will work to favorably resolve those disputes. Staff will also assist members on a variety of other business-related issues. All information and discussions with individual member companies are on a confidential basis.
The following list is a sampling of the activities we undertake on behalf of California dairy processors and manufacturers.
- Legislative. Dairy Institute sponsors bills in the State Legislature and U.S. Congress as directed by our members. We have an excellent record achieving enactment of legislation which improves the business environment for our member companies, and defeating detrimental legislation. Dairy Institute has been successful in working within coalitions with other business organizations that are also able to effectively represent our members’ interests.
- Dairy Pricing and Policy. Dairy pricing policy in California is updated through a public hearing process. Institute Staff work to help members develop a unified position and develop well-reasoned and effective testimony to represent our members at public hearings. Our track record at achieving favorable hearing results for our members is evidence of the overall effectiveness of our efforts.
- Other Regulatory. Staff represents member interests at hearings and industry workshops in the areas of product, labeling and food safety standards, as well as milk plant inspection, waste management, workplace safety, bio-security and environmental compliance, such as Proposition 65.
- Market Information. Dairy Institute provides dairy market analysis and information every week. Members may also request forecasts of dairy commodity prices.
- Industry news. Through its Dairy Notes Daily and Weekly Dairy Market Notes, Dairy Institute keeps members continually updated on the current economic developments and domestic and international industry news enabling companies to accurately appraise their operating environment and make better-informed decisions regarding marketing activities and company strategies.
- Legislative news. Legislation enacted both at the state and federal level has tremendous impact on the ability of member companies to do business in California and elsewhere. Dairy Institute provides legislative updates that summarize and explain the important pieces of legislation that could potentially impact our members as they are moving through the state and federal law-making process.
- Regulatory news and information. Dairy Institute keeps members informed of changes related to food safety, product standards, environmental, labor, energy and dairy pricing regulation that can impact business costs. Also, Dairy Institute Staff are a ready resource to answer questions members may have about laws governing milk processing or dairy product manufacturing.
- Raw Product Pricing and Procurement. Dairy Institute regularly conducts a Raw Product Workshop to train member representatives on the basic aspects of dairy policy, milk pricing and pooling, and raw product cost determination.
- Other Training. We have offered other training programs for our members related to e-commerce, processing quantity control, and product labeling. We organize such training programs based on the timeliness of the topic and member interest.
- Dairy Institute’s legal counsel represents members’ interests in court actions or other legal proceedings affecting the dairy industry. Legal counsel also consults with individual member companies upon request.
- We undertake special projects and work with other industry groups when there are areas of common concern where joint action is more likely to achieve effective results. Some examples are listed below. If you would like information regarding Dairy Institute’s involvement in these efforts, please contact staff.
- Community Alliance For Responsible Environmental Stewardship
- Californians For Nutritious Milk
- Milk Regulatory Equity Act Coalition
- California Dairy Quality Assurance Program
- CDFA Dairy Advisory Committee
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- Cheese Research and Education Fund
Dairy Institute offers three membership categories:
Dairy Institute currently has 25 member companies who operate plants in California and which collectively account for approximately 75% of all fluid milk products, cultured and frozen products, and hard cheese produced in the state..
3 Affiliate member companies represent non-processing distributors, out-of-state processors, and other organizations related to the California dairy industry. Affiliate members do not vote on governance issues, but receive all services provided to Processor members.
Associate member companies include suppliers of packaging, ingredients, and equipment. Associate members do not vote on governance issues but do receive some information services. Associates are invited to participate in the annual fall meeting.
Activities On Behalf Of Members:
Dairy Institute has consistently and successfully balanced its representation of all segments of the dairy processing industry to achieve member and industry goals of product innovation, growth and profitability. Dairy Institute’s primary economic focus: keeping raw product pricing for all segments in line with market realties and competitive forces.
- Representation of member positions at CDFA pricing hearings.
- Leadership in development of California dairy research and education activities.
- Representation before the state Legislature and the Congress on the following subjects:
- Standards of identity (to allow marketing of new products in California)
- Unlawful practices (updating the law to reflect changes in enforcement and marketing)
- Federal dairy policy aimed at California (Advocating market-oriented programs to benefit consumers, as well as processors)
- Responding to inquiries/providing solutions in the following areas:
- Standards compliance – Proposition 65 compliance
- Product labeling – CDFA milk inspection
- weights and measures – CDFA marketing enforcement