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The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is praising House passage of the Goodlatte-Scott amendment to the Farm Bill, which would establish support for dairy farmers without mandating that they participate in a new government dairy “supply management” program.
In a letter sent to the Hill this week, the NRA and two dozen of its restaurant company members called on members of the House of Representatives to support the proposal, noting it would remove an unnecessary regulatory burden and provide opportunity for market expansion, new jobs, and economic growth.
“We have learned from past experience that government management of commodity supply and demand does not work,” writes the Association and its members. “Restricting milk supplies will increase dairy product costs for both consumers and businesses and will hurt dairy industry growth, leading to negative long-term consequences for dairy farms, processors, retailers, restaurants, consumers, and taxpayers.
“Additionally, rising food and commodity costs are one of the top challenges for the foodservice industry, which operates on extremely thin profit margins, and must deal in real time with price spikes to food costs. The Dairy Market Stabilization Program will periodically cause price spikes for milk and dairy prices, and these increases will be difficult to manage, increase business risk, and have a dramatic impact on the foodservice industry.”
The Goodlatte-Scott amendment, which was agreed to by a vote of 291 to 135, is one example of the NRA’s Farm Bill advocacy efforts to promote policies that help stabilize food and commodity costs. The Association also has advocated for policies related to catfish inspection and olive oil.
The Farm Bill failed to secure final passage today over nutrition assistance support levels.
“While the bill failed, our work on the dairy amendment was successful in that the majority of Congress voted with us on dairy management policies,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president, policy and government affairs, NRA. “While our message was heard, the work continues until we get a clear direction on farm policy from Congress.”