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DFA Says Direct Shippers Will Not Lose Markets in Dean Foods Acquisition

February 18, 2020

Anna-Lisa Laca

When the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Dean Foods Acquisition news broke on Monday farmers were not short of opinions. One main concern continues to be what will happen to the producers who are currently direct shippers to Dean Foods plants on the list to be included in the deal. DFA executive vice president and chief of staff, Monica Massey, says “direct shippers will get to decide where to ship their milk.”

When looking at the list of plants that DFA plans to purchase (which can be viewed in full here), it’s clear that many of these plants are likely being supplied by DFA and a variety of different sources including direct shippers and other cooperatives. Massey says DFA has experience dealing with these kinds of complex situations.

“While we’re still evaluating how we’re going to manage and oversee this acquisition, DFA has a long history of acquiring facilities that are supplied by a mix of independent farmers, DFA and other cooperatives,” she says. “We are expecting that to be the case here."

The deal will not be final until the initial agreement is approved by the bankruptcy court and the Department of Justice. At that point in time, we can expect to learn more about how these transitions will occur.


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