How to spot a bad milk vendor
The American dairy industry has suffered a series of scandals over the last few years, but none have been as damaging to its reputation as the one plaguing one of the nation’s largest dairy operations.
The scandal erupted in April after a New York Times article revealed that some farmers had been paid off by a former executive of a rival dairy company to help them defraud the dairy industry.
The company had been facing a $2.9 billion civil penalty from the government.
The Times reported that the executive, James R. Ruggiero, had been paying $400,000 to other employees to defraud Dairy Products International, a New Jersey-based subsidiary of the U.S. Dairy Farmers Union.
The dairy industry later paid the $1.6 million fine to the federal government.
In response, the U:Milk Company has taken a series “safety precautions” to protect consumers, including a recall of the products sold in its stores and a ban on sales of milk from companies that allegedly defraud consumers.
The U:milk Company also has begun offering an additional $200 per liter for milk that is contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria, which are common in dairy products.
But the most damaging part of the controversy has been the impact on the industry, which has seen sales decline from $1 billion in 2016 to $1 million in 2017.
In the last two years, the number of dairy farmers has fallen by more than 20 percent, according to the National Dairy Council.
The U: milks company also said it will stop offering milks to the dairy farmers who defraud them in 2018.
“This is the most significant and damaging event in U: milk’s history, and we are committed to restoring our reputation as an industry leader,” a statement from the company read.
“We want to assure our customers that we will continue to offer the best quality products at the lowest price and to work to provide a safe environment for our dairy farmers and consumers,” the statement continued.