After postponing an April hearing due to COVID, CDFA will now hold a hearing on June 9 and 10 to consider the immediate suspension of its dairy Quota Incentive Program (QIP).
The group STOP QIP has gathered enough signatures on its petition to warrant a hearing. An administrative law judge will preside over the meeting and recommend whether CDFA should hold a referendum or not.
United Dairy Families of California argues the group is exploiting a loophole to suspend QIP on a technicality.
“We do not think this is fair to the industry and takes away producers' voices and actual opinions,” the group said in a statement.
In 2018, as the state joined the Federal Milk Marketing Order, QIP replaced the original California program begun 50 years ago.
In July of last year, STOP QIP had begun a collaborative process with the industry to find a solution to head off issues with the program. The goal was a new system that would neither interfere with the federal order nor make the current quota obsolete.
In December, STOP QIP instead filed a lawsuit in state court requesting a halt to fee collections for QIP. The suit claimed CDFA could not collect the taxes because it had not held a public hearing before adopting the program.