California: CDFA Approves Petition Request for Quota Sunset Plan; Stop QIP Petition Denied

Joel Hastings

The United Dairy Families of California was notified on July 24 by the California Department of Food and Agriculture that its petition requesting a hearing on its quota “sunset” plan had the required number of signatures. The petition qualified with 28% of the number of market milk producers operating in California in May 2020.

The organization has been working for the past 18 months to develop producer consensus around a plan to end quota in five years, subject to a producer referendum. The referendum would have the same requirements as when the quota implementation plan (QIP) took effect in the fall of 2018 at the time the Federal Milk Marketing Order for California was implemented. UDF is requesting that a “super majority” of producers must vote to modify or end the quota plan… that is 65% of the producers representing 51% of the milk or 51% of producers representing 65% of total milk.

A group calling itself “Stop QIP” argues that due to a technicality, only 51% of producers need to approve any change. That effort itself was subject to a public hearing held in June. On July 27 the administrative law judge who presided issued a ruling denying Stop QIP’s petition, recommending the CDFA Secretary not hold a hearing.

 

 

Also, on July 31, a court hearing is scheduled on a lawsuit the Stop QIP group has brought against the Department.

It is anticipated that apart from the suit, CDFA will be holding a meeting in August of the Producer Review Board to review the UDF petition. This likely will be followed by a public hearing to consider the UDF petition request.

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