Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Orderly Marketing

A major point of the federal milk market orders is the idea of "orderly marketing", which has come to be interpreted as meaning the milk is on the shelves.

This was not always so. In a famous 1939 case, known as "Rock Royal Creamery", the Supreme court opinion states:

By Section 1, 7 U.S.C.A. § 601, it is declared that 'the disruption of the orderly exchange of commodities in interstate commerce impairs the purchasing power of farmers' thus destroying the value of agricultural assets to the detriment of the national public interest. This interference is declared to 'burden and obstruct the normal channels of interstate commerce.' By Section 2, 7 U.S.C.A. § 602, it is declared to be the policy of Congress, through the exercise of the powers conferred upon the Secretary of Agriculture, 'to establish and maintain such orderly marketing conditions for agricultural commodities in interstate commerce as will establish prices to farmers at a level that will give agricultural commodities a purchasing power with respect to articles that farmers buy, equivalent to the purchasing power of agricultural commodities in the base period.

Has the destruction of dairy farm assets been a "detriment of the national public interest"? Milk is still on the shelves but, is that all that is important?

1 comment:

  1. I read that to mean that the price paid to farmers must cover the costs of production. Does anyone else think that?