The Dairy Farmers of America cooperative has agreed to a $50 million revised settlement paid to Northeast U.S. dairy farmers. The settlement stems from a class-action lawsuit that accused the marketing group of trying to drive down milk prices. The revised settlement includes new protections to prevent retaliation to farmers that was missing from a settlement proposal denied by a federal judge in March. Settlement papers were filed on Thursday and require approval by a U.S. District Judge. If approved, the cooperative will pay an average of $4,000 to more than 8,000 dairy farms.
The lawsuit was filed in 2009 when farmers accused Dairy Farmers of America, its Dairy Marketing Services arm, and dairy processor Dean Foods of conspiring to monopolize the market for raw Grade A milk in 11 U.S. states stretching from New Hampshire to Virginia. Dean Foods reached a $30 million settlement in the case in 2011. The Kansas City, Missouri-based Dairy Farmers of America did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to settle, according to court documents.
Source: NAFB News Service