The U.S. Dairy Export Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, and the Italian dairy industries association Assolatte have formally entered into a Memorandum of Understanding. The overarching objective of this strategic agreement is to forge a robust platform for international collaboration, addressing critical issues that resonate across the global dairy sector.
Chief among the priorities outlined in the Memorandum is the safeguarding of designations, reserving terms such as “milk,” “cheese,” “yogurt,” “butter,” and the like exclusively for products originating from genuine milk sources. Paolo Zanetti, President of Assolatte, emphasizes “the need to combat misleading and deceptive labeling practices that inaccurately associate dairy terms with imitations, thereby misguiding consumers regarding the products’ quality and nutritional equivalence.”
The signatories have planned various initiatives to accentuate the value of dairy commodities while raising awareness about their inherent attributes and health benefits. Additionally, they are jointly committed to reinforcing the significance of sustainable livestock farming and recognizing the invaluable contributions of industry players in cultivating environmentally responsible supply chains.
Krysta Harden, President and CEO of USDEC, underscores the immense growth prospects ahead while acknowledging the significant challenges faced by the sector: “This landmark agreement serves as a pivotal step in amplifying the industry’s voice and advocating for evidence-based policymaking that propels sustainable growth for milk producers and processors on a global scale.”
THE US DAIRY SECTOR BY THE NUMBERS
The United States is an undisputed giant in the international dairy landscape, boasting a remarkable production of approximately 103 million metric tons of milk and over six million metric tons of cheese. Therefore, it holds the title of the world’s foremost cheese producer. On the other hand, Italy consistently secures the fourth spot in the rankings, exporting 1.2 million metric tons of cheese to markets beyond Europe.
Zanetti remarks, “The United States serves as a pivotal destination for our enterprises. Annually, we introduce 35,000 metric tons of premium Italian cheeses to the American market, valued at an impressive 420 million euros. Our cheese reigns supreme in the eyes of American consumers, leaving no other nation as extensively represented on U.S. dairy shelves as Italy.”