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Resource ID: #21609
Subject: Agriculture
Source: Chicago Tribune
Date: 2004-12-30



This investigation examines the manipulation of the dairy market by the nation's largest dairy cooperative. The stories explore how Dairy Farmers of America has used tactics such as signing exclusive supply agreements with bottling plants to force independent dairy farmers to join the cooperative or face going out of business. The Tribune also reveals how the cheese exchange on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is essentially unregulated and heavily influenced by the cooperative's CEO. Such influence determines how much dairy farmers are paid for milk, which affects consumer prices at the grocery store. A related story recounts how the cheese exchange in 1997 was moved from Green Bay to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange because of allegations of price manipulation.

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