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Dear Assistant Attorney General Varney:
We appreciate that, after years of inaction, the Antitrust Division is taking a focused and aggressive approach to competition and antitrust issues under your leadership. We are writing to share our concern regarding consolidation and anticompetitive practices in the dairy industry and to ask for your continued focus in this area.
As you know, the price that farmers receive for their milk has bottomed out over the last year, plummeting from $19.301cwt to $11.30/cwt, a drop of 41%. As a result of these plunging prices, family dairy farms across the country have gone out of business or will soon be shutting down. This is a disaster not only for the thousands of rural communities that rely on the dairy industry for support but also for the many consumers who want fresh and locally produced food.