Amid trade war, dairy farmers emphasize need for global market access

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative released the following statement in response to an announcement today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that the federal government will provide $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs.

Edge has hundreds of members in nine Midwestern states and is one of the largest in the country in terms of the amount of milk produced on its member farms.

STATEMENT 

We understand and continue to support President Trump’s efforts to resolve unfair trading practices. The financial relief is an acknowledgement that farmers are paying a heavy price during the process.

While the aid plan is still short on details, we are hopeful it will alleviate some of the pain that our farmers and the greater dairy community are enduring as markets remain disrupted, production costs rise and low milk prices drag on.

 

Nevertheless, whatever short-term relief farmers might feel, the aid does nothing to repair damage the trade war is doing to long-standing relationships with our global trading partnerships. Trust is built over time; regaining it isn’t easy. As we stand by, those partners are forging ahead with agreements with other countries, and we are watching markets slip away.

Edge has a straightforward trade objective: Expand access to global markets with no net loss to existing ones by nurturing more trade opportunities and not disrupting favorable ones we have worked so hard to develop. Our dairy farmers aren’t looking for a government handout. They want opportunities to compete globally where their products and processes are second to none.

 

We urge the president to move as quickly as possible on his trade strategy. Our farmers need to be able to work each day with confidence and certainty while producing safe and wholesome food for a growing world market.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers in nine Midwestern states with a strong voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within their communities. Under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, the co-op also provides milk testing verification services and market information. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is one of the top cooperatives in the country based on the amount of milk produced by its members. For more information, visit voiceofmilk.com.