Dean Foods and dairy
Cushman calls the effort a predatory shakedown regarding milk payments already highly regulated by the federal government. “The letters essentially try to extort tens of thousands of dollars from folks that likely have a complete defense against these claims. So, we decided to stand up for farmers and demand that this law firm retract all these letters. And if any farmer has paid any money, the law firm and Dean Foods pay back that money they should not have had to pay in the first place.”
AFBF sent a letter to the law firm managing the Dean Foods estate calling for an immediate reversal and threatening potential legal action if the firm fails to withdraw the letters sent to farmers. ” Many of the producers who received these letters are independent farmers who are struggling through a multi-year downturn in milk prices and a difficult economic environment with the COVID-19 pandemic that increased milk price volatility. These letters have put producers who are already at the brink in an impossible position, either pay the amounts demanded or incur the costs of legal council to defend against the debtor allegations. That is simply unacceptable.”
That’s Travis Cushman, AFBF senior counsel for public policy.