Schumer calls for changes in how feds classify greek yogurt

Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the federal government to alter a policy to create easier access to greek yogurt in schools.

The senator was at Chobani’s New Berlin facility on Friday. Chobani was founded in South Edmeston in 2005 and calls the Southern Tier home. The company is the number one selling manufacturer of Greek Yogurt in the United States.

Greek yogurt was supposed to be made available with the USDA Child Nutrition programs in 2015.
However, Schumer says an outdated policy for crediting proteins, which gives greek yogurt less equitable protein credit in comparison to other protein alternatives, makes greek yogurt too expensive for schools to be competitive with the other protein alternatives.

In the 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, signed in May 2017, the USDA was directed to review its protein crediting system for schools and report back to Congress within 180 days with its findings.
Schumer says that since the USDA missed the deadline, he is calling on the organization to issue a report to Congress as soon as possible on the conclusion of the review, with promises that the crediting issue surrounding greek yogurt will be resolved.

The move is one Chobani officials support.

“Straight high protein yogurt must be on a level playing field when it comes to protein in federal nutrition programs, when a half-cup of peas which provides only a third of the protein provided by four ounces of greek yogurt receives a higher crediting,” said Mark Broadhurst, Chobani’s Senior Director of Government Relations. “Our nation’s children are not getting access to better choices and one might say suffering in more ways than one.”

Chobani currently has 1,000 employees at its plant in New Berlin.

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