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New York Gets Cultured

by on August 21, 2012

Ew, yogurt’s gross. It’s got bacteria in it, you know, which is reason enough to ignore questions about the product’s freshness and throw it out immediately.

Regardless, there’s literally no accounting for taste. Those born without functioning tongues or a sense of texture enjoy purchasing the semi-fluid sadness tubs for whatever mystical reasons, and we may as well host its makers if they find our area optimal for producing gunk. Everyone should cheer the conditions that allow its manufacturers to thrive, even if those of us with superior palates prefer getting calcium from cheddar-laden sandwiches or bourbon milkshakes.

This state could be a haven for yogurt production, although the real question is why it’s not already. New York has changed its status to pro-probiotic, even if it’s past the expiration date for saving the economy:

Saying “this is our time,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state would loosen restrictions on dairy farmers to boost milk production to meet the state’s booming yogurt manufacturing.

It’s about time that the sour taste was replaced with a sour taste. The benevolent government is kind enough to let you run a business without what they have deemed proper paperwork or funds, at least for awhile:

At the state’s first Yogurt Summit among state officials and farmers, Cuomo said the state plans to allow farmers to have up to 300 cows without needing a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations permit.

The costly permit had been required for any farm with more than 200 cows, and farmers complained that the regulation was limiting them from expanding to meet the yogurt factories’ needs.

So, your business can do a little better until Albany sticks its nose in your barn. Being permitted to have 50 percent more cows before getting socked counts as progress here. It’s this sort of pretending to believe in the free market that will rocket Cuomo to the middle of the 2016 Democratic hopeful pack:

“Changing those CAFO regs, I think, is going to send a different signal that we are serious about this and we get it, and we get the role of the state,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo hailed the yogurt boom in upstate New York. Major yogurt producers such as Fage and Chenango County-based Chobani have rapidly increased production in rural counties. PepsiCo has launched a joint venture with a German company to open a manufacturing facility in Batavia, Genesee County.

Pepsi and Germans pair to make yogurt? Fair enough. Enticing a single industry to fix the state better work, as the governor doesn’t have a plan B:

“This is one of the best private sector market opportunities upstate New York has had in 30, 40 years,” Cuomo said in his closing remarks. “I don’t know when we get another one. I really, really don’t. And that entrepreneurial spirit is when you see an opportunity, grab it and make it happen.”

“Grab it” has been the government’s mantra, and it’s sort of marginally changing. There’s a reason there hasn’t been a chance so fantastic for businesses in decades, one that has to do with the policies of officious buttinskies like Andy’s daddy who decided absent evidence that they know more about the economy that productive people. We’ve sunk to the level of merely trying to recoup from losses that have made the state’s bones brittle:

While the yogurt industry has grown rapidly in upstate, Gannett’s Albany Bureau reported Monday that state permitting has stifled dairy farmers from meeting the milk demand. Chobani is expanding in Idaho, in part because the state has more milk available.

But we could get more milk here. Why would companies want to open in non-New York states when they can be charged the price of many cows for the privilege of doing business here?

The CAFO cost to individual farmers, according to New York Farm Bureau, can be from $50,000 to $150,000.

The Yogurt Summit, which was filled with samples from the yogurt companies, was announced earlier this month by Cuomo, who has sought to build the industry as a way to combat decades of manufacturing decline in parts of upstate.

Nobody builds things in a domain overrun by taxes and rules? This seems like a first-day lesson about economics. But at least there are already a handful of goop concerns plying their trade:

Cuomo said the state has 49 yogurt plants already.

Can’t we have more cheese curd plants? That’s the sort of scrumptious dairy product we need in ample quantity so we may enjoy creamy deliciousness while staving off osteoporosis. Regardless of one’s milk-based preferences, Cuomo still hasn’t done nearly enough to for the state’s skeleton.

Raising the threshold for a maddening fee that punishes businesses for growing is as obvious a move as possible. Here, progress is defined by putting less poison in the feed.

It’s become slightly easier for manufacturers of diet food for ladies to exist in the Empire State. While their product might not be appealing to others, the more important thing for a business is to know what at least a sliver of customers want. Now, the financial outlook might improve even more if only New York would befriend non-edible fermented slop industries.

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