WUD urges public-private partnership to develop processing capacity

Nov. 30, 2012 - - Western United Dairymen has written to Gov. Brown urging that he form a public-private partnership to identify and provide incentives to increase dairy processing plant capacity in the state. “The lack of plant capacity is at the root of the current financial crisis in the dairy industry,” wrote WUD President Tom Barcellos and CEO Michael Marsh. “More plant capacity would generate more competition for producers’ milk, which in turn would generate higher revenues for dairy families.”
WUD pointed out that, “New dairy processing facilities have been permitted and built by our competitors in other states while processing capacity in the nation’s leading dairy state has not increased enough to handle our growth in milk production.” The state’s “less friendly business environment” is often cited as a major reason for locating plans elsewhere.
WUD pointed to the example of an agreement reached with Samsung that allowed the company to benefit from state research and development tax credits, employee training credits, expedited permitting, fee reductions for construction taxes, a ten-year utility tax rebate and a $500,000 economic development incentive.
“We urge you to take similar measurers to attract dairy processing investment in this state,” said WUD. New dairy processing facilities would not only help financially struggling California dairy families, the facilities would help in reducing high unemployment rates throughout the Central Valley.
Barcellos and Marsh called on the Governor to form this public-private partnership with the goal of drawing additional dairy processing capacity to California, saying “We look forward to working with your administration to get this initiative up and running as soon as possible.”