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Dairy Cooperatives Resolve Lawsuit Over Dean Foods Sale

A major East Coast dairy co-op and Food Lion have settled a lawsuit challenging Dairy Farmers of America’s purchase of Dean Foods assets.

Notice of the agreement was filed Feb. 24 in a North Carolina federal court.

The grocery chain and the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association launched the suit last May, saying DFA’s pickup of 44 dairy plants as part of Dean Foods’ bankruptcy proceedings gave the national co-op monopolistic power in the milk industry.

After the $433 million acquisition, DFA was considered the nation’s largest milk producer and processor.

The suit sought to have DFA to divest one of the Dean plants in the Carolinas to an independent buyer. Maryland & Virginia bid on Dean’s plant in High Point, North Carolina, but lost out to DFA.

A Maryland & Virginia spokeswoman said the co-op had no comment, and the details of the agreement were confidential.


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