In an effort to establish new dairy markets on behalf of U.S. dairy producers and address gaps in meeting unmet demand for dairy, Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff program, is forging strategic relationships with key national and international dairy companies.
These arrangements will help stimulate research into dairy's competitive advantage over other protein-based products, enhanced availability of dairy at retail, and value-added milk products, among others. Specific examples include:
- Strategic partnerships with individual milk processors and their suppliers to help grow the fresh fluid plastic business.
- Partnerships with cheese companies to help spur product innovation, particularly at retail, for Hispanic cheese, snacking cheese and "kid cuts" of cheese.
- A whey research consortium formed by DMI and its sister organization, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, involving 15 international companies. All of these companies have devoted financial or other resources to conduct research on whey to quickly develop health-related claims to help whey compete with soy, domestically and worldwide.
- Individual nutrition research partnerships with Fonterra and Dairy Australia. This research will help lay the framework for substantiating future health claims for marketing dairy ingredients.
"In a dairy marketplace that is becoming increasingly global, such agreements are critical pieces in dairy promotion's overall strategy to help U.S. dairy producers grow their businesses," says Tom Gallagher, DMI chief executive officer. "These partnerships involve millions of dollars in commitments from our partners."
"Agreements such as these are beneficial to U.S. dairy producers," says Paul Rovey, an Arizona dairy producer who is chairman of DMI. "They indicate how the producer-funded national dairy promotion program is heading in a new direction to increase the availability of dairy in the marketplace, and add value to dairy products on our behalf."