National Milk Producers Federation aka Cooperatives Working Together (CWT), Dairy Farmers of America Inc., Land O’Lakes Inc., Dairylea Cooperative Inc. and Agri-Mark Inc. have agreed to settle an antitrust class action lawsuit that accuses them of engaging in a conspiracy to fix milk prices.
If you purchased milk or other fresh milk products (including half & half, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt or cream) since 2003, you may be entitled to payment from the milk products class action settlement.
If approved, this antitrust settlement will resolve a class action lawsuit that accuses the defendants of participating in a nationwide conspiracy to limit the production of raw farm milk by slaughtering cows prematurely, causing the price of milk and other fresh milk products to increase.
CWT was developed by the National Milk Producers Federation with the stated purpose of strengthening and stabilizing milk prices. Founded in 2003, the CWT reportedly involves dairy producers located throughout the United States which produce close to 70 percent of the nation’s milk.
According to the milk antitrust class action lawsuit, the dairy farmers participating in the alleged antitrust conspiracy with CWT agreed to prematurely slaughter the dairy cows in their herds and, as of Apr. 1, 2009, they agreed not to reenter the dairy farming business for at least one year.
“The principle purpose and effect of this contract, combination and conspiracy has been to reduce the supply of milk, eliminate competition, and significantly reduce the number of dairy farmers competing in the market in order to increase the price of raw farm milk,” the milk products price-fixing class action lawsuit states.
The defendants deny the allegations but agreed to settle the fresh milk products class action lawsuit to avoid the expense and uncertainty associated with ongoing litigation.
The fresh milk products price-fixing settlement received preliminary approval on Aug. 25, 2016.
If you would like to object to or exclude yourself from the milk products antitrust class action settlement, you must do so no later than Oct. 28, 2016.