Dairies meet to discuss milk pricesUPDATED 6:58 PM HST Aug 26, 2014Video Transcript
the Hawaii Milk Act is the law setting a minimum on how much producers will get. One Big Island dairy wants to change the milk market by lowering that price. Here's KITV 4's Cam Tran... 18 31 When the gavel fell: Hawaii's Dairy Debate was ON! On one side of the Hawaii Milk Act: Big Island Dairy. The company wants to change the law to allow milk producers to sell milk at prices BELOW state set minimums. STEVE WHITESIDES, BIG ISLAND DIARY OWNER 02:22 WE'VE ALWAYS CALLED THE MINIMUM PRICES MILK WELL ACTUALLY IT'S A FIXED PRICE MILK ACT The other side: smaller producers like Cloverleaf Dairy and Mauna Kea Moo who say the system works... ED BOTEILHO, CLOVERLEAF DAIRY 22:11 THIS HAS PROTECTED US ALL THESE YEARS SO THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ACT Big Island Dairy is expanding its facilities looking to produce 18 thousand gallons a day, three times its current production. Because of that, the owner says he wants to lower the milk prices to make it more attractive to the state's only dairy processor Meadow Gold. STEVE 04:31 THE PROCESSOR IS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY THE QUOTED PRICES, HE'S NOT REQUIRED TO RECEIVE MY MILK IF HE CAN FIND MILK CHEAPER SOMEWHERE ELSE 04:41 THAT'S MY CONCERN FOR THIS AMENDMENT But other farmers say changing a law meant to make the equal the playing field would force the little guys out of business. ED BOTEILHO, CLOVERLEAF DAIRY, 24:17 WHY DO WE NEE SOMETHING LIKE THIS WHERE ONE PARTY CAN COME IN AND BASICALLY BECAUSE OF THEIR SIZE AND CONTROL I DISAGREE WITH THAT EMPHATICALLY! 24:29 Although the board of agriculture had enough votes to pass the amendment-- it chose to defer the decision while an investigative committee looks at the impacts of changing the Milk Act. It's a move neither side feels sour about. WHITESIDES IN 55:01 IT THINK IT'S A GREAT WAY TO LOOK AT IT AS FAR - THAT WAY THE BOARD CAN FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO ASK FOR BOTEILHO 05:58:40 I THINK IT'S A GOOD DECISION IT GIVES THE BOARD TIME MORE TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO AND ADDRESS IT PROPERLY Cam Tran , KITV 4 News. The board says they will unveil their findings at their next meeting. Even if the measure does pass there's no guarantee it will lower milk prices for the general public.