December 19, 2011
3:30 pm CST
Rod Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company
Breck Barton, Cereal Food Processors, Inc.
Paul Maass, Chairman, ConAgra Foods
Dan Dye, Horizon Milling LLC/ Cargill
Ed Hostetter, “Jiffy” Mixes
John Miller, Miller Milling Company
Emmit Gardner, Minot Milling Company
Charles Stout, Milner Milling/ PFM/ Southeastern Mills, Inc.
William Ford, Shawnee Milling Company
Richard Siemer, Siemer Milling Company
Mike Fassezke, Star of the West Milling Company
Bill Stoufer, ConAgra Mills
Mary Waters, President
Skip Myers, Legal Counsel, Morris, Manning, Martin, LLP
|1.||Call to Order
Mr. Maass welcomed everyone to the call, while Ms. Waters took roll and outlined the items to be discussed.
|2.||Review of Antitrust Guidelines
Mr. Myers, legal counsel, reviewed the antitrust guidelines.
|3.||Discussion of Data Collection
The members discussed the proposal to have Veris collect data by state for the 4th quarter report and agreed it was a good idea that would provide flexibility in the future if regional groups were changed.
Mr. Myers reviewed the Department of Justice guidance on anti trust safe harbor rules. He noted that complete compliance with the safe harbor meant the government would not take an action. Moving away from the guidelines did not mean there was an antitrust violation but it would expose the organization to greater risk. Having a trade association released the data was different than having a government agency (census). That is why Mr. Myers and Veris suggested the regional groupings used in the third quarter report. The rules were initially five companies and none with more than a percent market share. This was then amended to a 33 1/3 percent market share in the final report.Members said they like getting the more detailed information that Census provided. There were 10 individual states and 11 groupings. However, the current regional groupings provide Mr. Myers with a comfort level that these would not be challenged under anti trust law and we will continue on this path with possible changes in the future.
The group reviewed the proposal to adjust some of the state groupings in the new form proposed for the 4th quarter. Mr. Myers will review for anti trust concerns and member companies will review and raise any concerns with Ms. Waters.
|4.||Discussion of Dissemination Policy
The members then discussed the dissemination policy. At the October board meeting members had raised the issue of charging for the data since the organization now had something of value in their control. This idea was not pursued but it was decided then to just release one national, aggregate number for flour production to the trade journals and the government.Several members suggested that the data distributed by Census be given to the trade publications.
A middle ground approach was suggested to release regional production and capacity information but not wheat ground or millfeed produced. See attached form for third quarter that will be disseminated.