Kleinpeter Farms Dairy has confirmed that it is instituting a 2.5 percent pay cut for all of its 215 employees to avoid having to raise its prices on its products during challenging economic times.

Kleinpeter Farms Dairy President Jeff Kleinpeter says in his 25 years at the company this type of across-the-board cut has been put in place five times — and that the policy has worked well for the business, employees and customers each time.

The Baton Rouge-based dairy maintains that while gas prices have fallen recently, fuel costs are still weighing on its bottom line. Even more significant, Kleinpeter says, is the rising price of raw milk it buys from other dairies.

“It’s more of a inhale/exhale type of exercise,” Kleinpeter explains, noting that the company keeps its finger on the pulse of sales and expenses and reacts accordingly. It’s also just as speedy to restore the cuts when expense factors or sales revenues reverse course.

“I can tell really quickly when sales slow up, and when they do, we simply consolidate a couple of routes, freeze wages, and wait until things pick up,” Kleinpeter says. “We are very quick to do that, and nimble on our feet, which many of the ‘big boys’ are not.”

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