The members of Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) June 12 committed to an additional two-year program of export assistance.
They also endorsed a larger investment in the farmer-funded, self-help program, voting to enhance the membership requirement from 2 cents per hundredweight of milk to 4 cents per hundredweight.
The continued program and higher participation fee are effective July 1 and run through Dec. 31, 2015. according to National Milk Producers Federation, which manages CWT.
The additional investment will cover the large increase in CWT member requests for export assistance in 2013, driven by increased demand in world dairy markets for U.S. American-type cheeses, butter, whole milk powder, and anhydrous milkfat.
The export market is growing at a rate five to eight times faster than the U.S. market, and the vote by CWT members will ensure the U.S. is a consistent and competitive supplier of dairy products in the world's growing dairy markets, said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk.
Since the start of 2011, the CWT Export Assistance program has helped member cooperatives sell 257.7 million pounds of American-type cheeses and 111.5 million pounds of butter to 39 countries on six continents.
The CWT export assistance program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers.
For more information" www.cwt.coop