Kleinpeter Farms Dairy has dropped the price of its milk for the second time in the first quarter, and the company says it will reverse a 2.5 percent pay cut instituted in October. Effective April 1, the price the Baton Rouge-based dairy charges stores for a gallon of milk was cut by 9 cents a gallon, a reduction that follows a price drop of 6 cents a gallon in February.
The price cuts come at a time when the dairy’s approximately 200 employees are working for salaries that were decreased by 2.5 percent last October during a period of belt-tightening that included staff reductions. In October, Kleinpeter Farms President Jeff Kleinpeter told ABiz the salary cuts were necessary to avoid price increases because the price of raw milk was rising, and he vowed to restore employees' pay rates should the business climate change.
Kleinpeter now says increased efficiencies and the dedication of those employees have resulted in cost savings the company is able to pass along to consumers right away, and he hopes to bring employees' full salaries back in July. “We’ve pulled together and made it happen, and we have a bit more work to do before we can restore pay rates to our team, but we are really optimistic that this will happen within a few months,” Kleinpeter says.
Kleinpeter says while the company never had a formal hiring freeze, staff was reduced through attrition, job consolidation and natural turnover.
In October, he told ABiz that 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.
“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 said at the time. “We are very quick to do that, and nimble on our feet, which many of the ‘big boys’ are not.”
Since then the company has hired an extra truck mechanic and extra loading dock supervisor and has promoted some milk and ice cream managers. “So we are adding people in the ways that benefit us the most and moving in a positive direction,” Kleinpeter says.
Kleinpeter Farms has its own dairy farm and also buys milk from 20 other Louisiana Family farms. The federal government sets the price that Kleinpeter pays for raw milk; the price changes each month, the company says, and varies depending on many worldwide factors. Those factors include the availability and price of replacement cows, and the price of feed grain, fuel and corn.
When the price of raw milk drops, the federal government does not require processors like Kleinpeter to pass cost savings along to its stores, but Kleinpeter is lowering prices in hopes that stores will pass the savings on to consumers.
“We can’t tell the stores what to charge for our milk, but we do hope the vast majority of our customers will notice the difference in the checkout line,” Kleinpeter says.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.
How the U.S. has gotten itself into another fine mess
The Heymann Center was transformed into a culinary adventure in mid-June for the EatLafayette kick-off event, A Taste of Lafayette, and for the third consecutive year, a sellout crowd filled the Cajundome Convention Center June 19 to hear LEDA chief Gregg Gothreaux’s State of the Economy report.
A look at recent hirings, promotions and other announcements from Acadiana's business community.
Anne Pyle puts a bow on a stellar, expectations-defying career with her latest venture.
The company currently has 10 branches throughout Louisiana, including an Ambassador Caffery location which opened last year.
Lawmakers have added $15 million to the attorney general's budget to pay for Louisiana's ongoing legal case against BP for damages caused by the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5 percent in June from 4.9 percent in May. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in June 2013.
Long-established private club opening special events venue in failed women’s store at Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.
High-dollar legal teams are preparing to spar in federal court over the regional levee authority’s historic lawsuit against oil and gas companies, but a panel of volunteers could preempt those efforts when they meet in August.
May sales, the highest on record for the month at $534 million, increased 6.1 percent over May 2013.
Trendy Shi Shi is heading to the Ranch, longtime retail institution Partners’ Ltd. is relocating to Parc Lafayette, and ariel artist haven Vertical Barre is moving downtown.
There’s another debit/credit card scam making the rounds — the second this year — this time via a robo call purportedly from MidSouth Bank.
The 2014 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday exempts the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item for non-business use when the customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property or places property on layaway.
The Lafayette-based home nursing firm will buy 14 home health agencies from a Tennessee company for $10 million in cash.