The Secretary of Agriculture, or such officer or employee of the Department of Agriculture as may be designated by him, upon written application of any cooperative association, incorporated or otherwise, which is in good faith owned or controlled by producers or organizations thereof, of milk or its products, and which is bona fide engaged in collective processing or preparing for market or handling or marketing (in the current of interstate or foreign commerce, as defined by section 610(j) of this title), milk or its products, may mediate and, with the consent of all parties, shall arbitrate if the Secretary has reason to believe that the declared policy of the Agricultural Adjustment Act [7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.], as amended, would be effectuated thereby, bona fide disputes, between such associations and the purchasers or handlers or processors or distributors of milk or its products, as to terms and conditions of the sale of milk or its products. The power to arbitrate under this section shall apply only to such subjects of the term or condition in dispute as could be regulated under the provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, as amended, relating to orders for milk and its products.
(b) Conduct of meetings
Meetings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted subject to such rules and regulations as the Secretary may prescribe.
(c) Approval of award
No award or agreement resulting from any such arbitration or mediation shall be effective unless and until approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, or such officer or employee of the Department of Agriculture as may be designated by him, and shall not be approved if it permits any unlawful trade practice or any unfair method of competition.
(d) Exemption from antitrust laws
No meeting so held and no award or agreement so approved shall be deemed to be in violation of any of the antitrust laws of the United States.
REFERENCES IN TEXT The Agricultural Adjustment Act, as amended, referred to in subsec. (a), is title I of act May 12, 1933, ch. 25, 48 Stat. 31, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§601 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 601 of this title and Tables.
7 U.S.C. § 671 (2018)