The former Dean Foods Co. and its subsidiaries are paid up with Pennsylvania independent dairy farmers for April milk, but an industry regulator said the company still isn’t square with cooperatives that have members in the state.
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Dairy Farmers of America remains in the running to buy the nation's largest milk processor, but it no longer is the leading bidder. (Photo: John Oncken)

The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board said June 10 that it will pursue a claim about the company’s milk dealer bond to ensure farmers get paid.

Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2019 and continued to pay dairy farmers during the bankruptcy proceedings.

However, after the sale of Dean Foods assets was completed on April 30, the final payment for that month’s milk was made late.

Board audits have confirmed, though, that all independent Pennsylvania dairy farmers have now been paid.

The board will proceed with bond claims to recover the money owed to cooperatives once it has completed audits to determine what those dollar amounts are.

Preliminary information indicates that the bonds will be sufficient to cover the amounts owed to cooperatives on account of their Pennsylvania members’ milk, the board said.

The potential sale by Fonterra of its Australian operations could have implications for the course of Australia’s entire dairy sector over the next five to 10 years, according to ANZ’s latest Agri Commodity Report.

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