April 20, 2017

Antiquated Wisconsin law is melting the sale of artisanal butter

By Antiquated Wisconsin law is melting the sale of artisanal butter

A 5th generation, family of butter makers in Ohio is feeling the pressure of an antiquated butter grading law in Wisconsin that protects large butter manufacturers and prevents smaller ones, like Minerva Dairy, from selling their butter. Adam Mueller can’t comply to butter grading standards of Wisconsin because his butter is artisanal. If he did, his butter would lose the quality and texture that his customers love.

Mueller can sell his butter in every other state other than Wisconsin. The cost of hiring a butter grader to come from Wisconsin would cost an exorbitant amount of money, and the grading process would ruin his sought after butter. ​

 

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Minerva Dairy v. Brancel

Minerva Dairy, and its President, Adam Mueller, are challenging a Wisconsin law that prevents butter makers from outside the state from selling their products in Wisconsin unless they go through an arduous and costly process of getting their butter “graded.” Grading has nothing to do with quality or safety; it is graded by taste, as determined by government bureaucrats. Only Wisconsin has this type of law; neither the federal government nor any other state requires grading. Because Minerva Dairy makes artisanal butter that has its own unique taste, it does not want to submit to Wisconsin grading. Representing Minerva, PLF filed a lawsuit challenging the law as an unconstitutional violation of the Commerce Clause, Due Process, and Equal Protection.

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