Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board resolves Dean Foods producer payback issue
A milk marketing board attorney says Dairy farmers that used to sell their milk to Dean Foods won’t have to pay back the bankrupt processor’s estate. Nearly 500 producers nationwide received what is called an avoidance claim settlement offer seeking money back from milk payments made during the final 90 days before Dean Foods filed bankruptcy.
Doug Eberly with the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board told reporters Thursday they have worked out the problem with the Dean Foods estate attorneys. “You were paid in the ordinary course of your business, and that, therefore, you do not owe any money back because you were not treated in a preferential manner.”
The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board argued that being paid for that milk according to federal and/or state regulations including milk marketing orders is the definition of the ordinary course of business. Board Chair Robert Barley says attorneys at ASK, LLP have taken a lot of heat from farmers and farm organizations over this. He is urging producers and haulers to fill out the form from their website and send it to Dean’s attorneys immediately. “Please, please, please complete this declaration because that will get you off the hook. I’m not saying they’re going to come after you otherwise, but you will complicate matters if you do not send that back, and this ASK, LLP, this attorney firm has the authority to release you and they will do so.”
The form from Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board is valid in any state, and is available on their website, here.