|BILL AS PASSED BY SENATE||2007-2008|
AN ACT RELATING TO HAVING THE COST OF PICKING UP AND HAULING MILK PAID BY THE PURCHASER
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. FINDINGS
The general assembly finds:
(1) 6 V.S.A. § 2676 dictates that the ownership of milk passes from the farmer to the buyer when the milk is transferred from a farm tank to a tank truck.
(2) Dairy farmers annually contribute about $1 million a day to the economy of Vermont, provide about 7,500 farm jobs, account for $426 million in sales for Vermont businesses that interact with dairy farmers, and support businesses, including veterinarians, grain dealers, equipment sales, farm insurance, and other dairy suppliers;
(3) In December of 2006, there were 1,150 dairy farms with 142,000 milking cows, generating over $2 billion in Vermont’s economy through production, employment, and business interaction.
(4) As of January 1, 2007, Vermont’s dairy industry is in crisis.
(5) Historically the conventional dairy farmer has sold the milk from the farm wholesale, purchased necessary supplies retail, and paid shipping charges on everything.
(6) From 1980 to 2005, the farmgate price for milk paid to the Vermont conventional dairy farmer has averaged $13.56 per hundredweight. When the price is adjusted for over 25 years of inflation, the dairy farmer ends up with only $6.09 worth of purchasing power in today’s market place.
(7) The pricing system for payments to farmers for their milk is broken; farmers continue to receive a price for their milk that is below the cost of production.
(8) The 2005 average price for class III milk used to make cheese was $11.88, the exact same price paid in 1980.
(9) Milk and milk products are used as ingredients in thousands of foods including baked goods, snack food, baby formula, and pet food. Milk products are used in sit-down and fast food restaurants. Dairy products are featured in a large proportion of the space in supermarkets.
(10) The impact of this legislation will likely transfer an estimated cost of $14,466,000.00 from dairy producers to processors and retailers, allowing the dairy producer to keep an additional 60 cents per hundredweight of milk production.
Sec. 2. VERMONT MILK COMMISSION ESTABLISHMENT OF A
MINIMUM PRODUCER PRICE
The Vermont milk commission shall establish by emergency rule pursuant to its authority under chapter 161 of Title 6 a minimum producer price that ensures the cost of picking up the milk and hauling the milk from the farm to the purchaser will be paid by the purchaser. Hauling and stop charges of milk loaded at the farm shall not be charged back to the selling dairy farmer. No additional charges shall be made, no costs may be shifted from other benefits the farmer receives to contravene the purpose of this act. Nor shall any funds be transferred away from the farmer in paid producer differentials or any premiums the farmer would receive, but for this act.
Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE; EMERGENCY RULE
(a) This act shall take effect on passage.
(b) The milk commission shall adopt within 60 days of the effective date of this act an emergency rule to implement the provisions of this act.
(c) The emergency rule shall take effect when, by rule, legislation, or other agreement, two other states in Northeast Marketing Area, Federal Order 1, have accomplished the purpose of this act or on January 1, 2008, whichever comes first.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street