Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, hosted a meeting with state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-53, Rome, as well as Oneida County dairy producers, a representative of Rep.
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Lawmakers discuss solutions to milk carton shortage with local farmers
Lawmakers discuss solutions to milk carton shortage with local farmers

Brandon Williams, R-22, Sennett, and BOCES officials to discuss issues pertaining to the shortage of food-grade cardboard that is used in the packaging of milk cartons in our local schools.

“I have heard from local farmers and school administrators regarding the possibility of school districts substituting other beverages for milk in our schools due to the packaging shortage,” said Buttenschon. “I have also spoken with our state commissioners regarding this issue and they are aware of the situation and are exploring solutions. Milk is necessary for growing children and provides an excellent source of nutrients, vitamins, and protein. This group of stakeholders came together to discuss possible solutions that can be considered in Oneida County to serve as a pilot or model for the rest of the state.”

Buttenschon said the main goal is to keep milk in schools, adding that secondary discussions included the use of local dairies, whole milk, and bulk delivery.

“Our local dairy products in our schools also provide an economic benefit to local farmers. Also, when using local dairy products, it significantly reduces greenhouse gases since the products do not have to go through a complex shipping process,” said Buttenschon.

“This meeting provided an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to discuss this issue and look at ways to ensure that students and schools have access to milk despite a shortage of packaging,” said Griffo, “New York’s dairy industry is an important part of our economy and communities. We must continue to do all that we can to help the hardworking dairy farmers in the region and across the state.”

“We dairy farmers are concerned about the packaging issue that provides a quality and nutritious product to our millions of school-children. As a dairy farmer and agriculture advocate, I want to applaud Assemblywoman Buttenschon and Senator Griffo for taking the lead to resolve this problem and to protect and preserve the dairy industry in Central New York,” said local farmer and agricultural advocate Ben Simons of Steuben.

Major dairy companies from around the world have pledged to disclose and tackle methane emissions – but Fonterra is noticeably absent.

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