DFA Antitrust/Market Manipulation/Corruption Probes 

As long reported in The Milkweed, Dairy Farmers of America has been under the microscope for serious violations of U.S. antitrust law, manipulation of cash markets for dairy products, and internal corruption.  The Milkweed has been blowing the whistle on DFA and its predecessor cooperatives for the past decade. In the August 2004 feature story, The Milkweed reported that U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorneys General from several states were conducting an antitrust investigation of DFA. After high-level DOJ officials ignored initial recommendations of its Antitrust Division to move against DFA, federal and state officials are now paying close attention to efforts of the nation’s largest co-op to squash competition and take over milk markets in much of the nation. Following publication of our latest report on DFA in our April 2008 edition [DFA (Enron of the Dairy Industry): “10 Years and Crumbling”], major news organizations (see below) have joined The Milkweed in publicizing renewed concern about DFA’s behavior by law enforcement officials.

DFA Fined $12 Million for Attempted Dairy Market Manipulation

The latest news stories:
Kansas City Star 7/14/08: Is dairy co-op milking the system?
Alan Guebert Farm and Food column 6/1/08:
Dairy coop focus of investigations
New York Times 5/18/08: Yes, It’s a Cooperative. But for Whom?
The Wall Street Journal 5/19/08: Dairy Co-Op Faces Price-Manipulation Probe
Kansas City Star 5/19/08: Former CEO of dairy co-op approved $1 million payment to former chairman

Associated Press 5/19/08: Regulators probing alleged milk price manipulation

Special Edition on Dairy Antitrust
Editor Pete Hardin’s blockbuster special edition of The Milkweed describes how the nation’s biggest dairy co-op (DFAthe Enron of the dairy industry) and fluid milk processor (Dean Foods) increasingly dominate the U.S. dairy business at the expense of dairy farmers and consumers.

Background information:
Pete Hardin’s speech on dairy market concentration:
DFA and Dean Foods: Dairy’s Anti-Competitive Duo
New Farm features a story by Molly Ames on family farm issues raised at the Dairy Market Concentration Conference below. Sponsored by The Rodale Institute
Special Report: Dairy Market Concentration Conference held in Syracuse, New York.

Other news:
National Business Review
(NZ) April 19, 2006 'Unprecedented' NZ delegation in Washington DFA represented at US-NZ Partnership Forum seeking Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand!

DFA’s 2005 Audit Now Available: Persons interested in closely tracking DFA’s financial condition may obtain a copy of DFA’s 2005 financial audit from The Milkweed. To receive a copy, please send a check for $15 to: The Milkweed, P. O. Box 10, Brooklyn, WI 53521.

TMCnet.com/Watertown NY Daily Times Jan. 1, 2006 CO-OPTED: Are dairy co-ops hurting small farms?

Mondaq.com Nov. 1, 2005 United States: Sixth Circuit Holds Acquisition of Non-Controlling Partial Ownership Interest in Competitor May Violate Antitrust Laws

U.S. Newswire Oct. 25, 2005 Sixth Circuit Court Grants Appeal of Justice Department and Commonwealth of Kentucky

Transcript of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decision in United States v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Knoxville TN News Sentinel Oct. 9, 2005 Dairy Dilemma: Flood of outside milk into region has soured Southeast farmers on powerful national co-ops

Northern Colorado Business Report Sep. 16, 2005 If you got milk in Colorado, you deal with the DFA

Lou Dobbs Tonight Aug. 24, 2005 Transcript of special report on DFA activities in the Northeast

Alan Guebert Farm and Food column for Jul. 24, 2005 Mooching in Maine

The Chicago Tribune Jun. 20, 2005  U.S. Sour on Tactics of Milks Top Co-op

Alan Guebert Farm and Food column for May 22, 2005 Got debt? Milk giant DFA downgraded by Moody’s

The Chicago Tribune Apr. 19, 2005 news story Regulators take look at deals in Mercantile's cheese market

The Chicago Tribune Dec. 30, 2004 news story Tribune Special Report: Dairy insider has clout in setting prices

The Chicago Tribune Dec. 30, 2004 sidebar 'Got Bucks' Dairy pricing has history of manipulation

Bangor Daily News (Maine) Nov. 17, 2004 news story: Justice Department probes dairy cooperative

The Times-Picayune New Orleans  Nov. 14, 2004 news story: Farmers say investigation into No. 1 dairy cooperative deepens

KATC TV3, Lafayette, LA, Nov. 14, 2004 news story: Farmers say investigation into No. 1 dairy cooperative deepens

The Milkweed Nov. 2004 page 2 story: Gary Hanman Comments on Antitrust Investigation vs. DFA

The Chicago Tribune Sept. 7, 2004 story: Small dairy farmers take on 'Goliath' cooperative

The Miami Herald AP story Aug. 26, 2004 No. 1 dairy co-op expands into Alabama, under antitrust probe

National Public Radio Morning Edition Aug. 20, 2004 news audio segment: Antitrust Probe Targets Dairy Co-Op

Farmshine (Brownstown, Penn.) Aug. 20, 2004 story DFA being investigated

Kansas City Star reprint of  Aug. 12, 2004 Chicago Tribune story: U.S. reportedly investigating KC dairy co-op

Abused by DFA? How to Contact DOJ!
If you have important information about DFA’s misbehaviors to pass along to federal Antitrust investigators, please contact:

        Allee Ramadhan, senior trial attorney

        U.S. Department of Justice

        1404 H. Street, NW, Room 4800

        Washington, D.C. 20530

        Phone: 202-307-1857 Fax: 202-307-5802 E-mail: allee.ramadahnm@usdoj.gov