Refuting Criticism of Farmer-Funded Cheese Promotion Program

After a story (“While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales“) that has been called ‘misleading’ appeared in the New York Times, other writers and commodity organizations have spoken up to refute and clarify (see links below). While wheat does not have a national check-off administered by the USDA, it is still important for us to monitor this sort of story. U.S. Wheat Associates (USWA) (of which Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee is a member) receives funds from USDA for development of foreign markets and promotion of U.S. wheat abroad. Those funds, which are only available because wheat growers contribute through their checkoff, cover the cost of all overseas export promotion. A study USWA commissioned earlier this year showed that wheat growers receive $23 in net revenue for every $1 USWA receives from the state checkoffs and the industry receives $115 in gross revenue for every $1 in checkoff and USDA funds invested. This is a public-private partnership that works. Even so, USDA market development programs that have helped to increase U.S. wheat market share abroad are constantly in danger from budget cuts.
A New Food Demon: Big Cheese
How Journalists Got the Cheese Lobbying Story Wrong
The Gall Of The USDA To ‘Promote’ Cheese
Dairy Management Inc. and America’s Dairy Farmers Set the Record Straight

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