Industry representatives at the 2017 World Dairy Expo are focused on building trust with both domestic consumers and those in potential export markets.
Twenty years of farmer funded nutrition research showing that milk fat does not have a negative health impact has resulted in domestic cheese sales hitting an all-time high when it comes to per capita consumption. Consumption of butter is at highest point since 1967. The dairy industry continues to build trust with consumers through its “Undeniably Dairy” campaign.
“Today, trust with the consumer is king. They really want to know more about how their food is produced than ever before,” says Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management, Inc. of the campaign, which is a collaboration with the entire industry, including processors, manufacturers, dairy cooperatives, and dairy producers. “It’s to talk to consumers about how we treat our animals, sustainability, the good things the industry does in the community, and other things about nutrition.”
As U.S. dairy producers continue to produce more milk, the U.S. Dairy Export Council will continue to focus on domestic markets, but also recognizes the need to increase the dairy export market. That also requires trust.
“In order for you to try a product, you have to initially have some level of trust that it’s safe, that it’s nutritious, that it’s delicious,” says Tom Vilsack, CEO and president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). “We have that opportunity to create that sense of trust in countries around the world because we have a safe product, we have one that’s stably produced, we have one that’s sustainably produced, we have one that’s delicious and nutritious. So it’s an opportunity for us to market U.S. dairy.”
Vilsack says emerging markets in places like Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean will be very important. USDEC also hopes to open up the Canadian market for U.S. dairy products in the near future.
Listen here to Jamie’s interview with Tom Gallagher: Tom Gallagher, DMI
Listen here to Jamie’s interview with Tom Vilsack: Tom Vilsack, U.S. Dairy Export Council
Listen here to a panel discussion featuring Tom Gallagher and Tom Vilsack at the 2017 World Dairy Expo: DMI-USDEC Panel Discussion