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Galliker's lays off 11 farmers due to surplus of milk

Galliker’s Dairy has laid off 11 farmers from its dairy production. (WJAC)

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP -- Galliker’s Dairy has laid off 11 farmers from its dairy production.

Officials say they have been operating with a huge surplus of milk for years.

Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Evan Fineman says it was a difficult decision, but necessary financially.

He says the milk volume from farmers goes up significantly each year, but at the same time, the amount of Galliker’s fluid milk sales have been going down.

Galliker’s currently works with about 85 farms, including the 11 laid off.

Fineman says these decisions are never made lightly and these farmers have been with them for a long time.

But the company has been accumulating losses because of the surplus.

While milk production volume has increased about 10 percent, Fineman says actual milk sales are declining.

The company produces 14 1/2 million gallons a year and these layoffs will mean a 2 million gallon decline, about 13 percent.

Fineman says they sat on the decision for eight to nine months before they finalized it, hoping fluid sales would come back, but he doesn't believe that will be the case now.

"The surplus nationally and especially in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas has been so large that many of the co-ops now have laid off many farmers and we held tight as long as we could," Fineman said.

Fineman says according to the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, they have to give farmers a 30 day notice so they have an opportunity to find another market. That notice went out Monday and Fineman says he hopes they do find other work.

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