About Membership

Who We Are:

USDEC started in 1995 as a nonprofit, pro-trade membership organization with a long-range vision for a more global future and continues that focus today. USDEC doesn't export- it paves the way for membership by connecting them with overseas buyers and helping them navigate the rules and regulations required to access high-potential markets. The team works with the U.S. government to advance trade policy and tell the compelling story of U.S. dairy to customers and consumers across the globe. We are the experts on exports - our experienced U.S. and international staff includes specialists in trade policy, market access, regulatory affairs, strategic insights, dairy ingredients marketing, cheese marketing, and sustainability.

Membership Value:

In 1995 U.S. dairy farmers came together to form the US Dairy Export Council. At that time, dairy exports accounted for less than 4% of US production, with much of that government-subsidized. Thirty years later, with the help of the partnership with farmers and USDEC,  U.S. dairy has gone from a minor player in exports to a leading global supplier. Today, exports account for 18% of total milk production, with no subsidies. That is one in six milk tankers leaving US dairy farms every day.

Member Benefits

Export Assistance

  • Priority participation in USDEC-sponsored events, including technical seminars, trade shows, and reverse trade missions that bring members face-to-face with potential customers.
  • A wealth of tools to help members enter overseas markets and expand your export business, including listing member company names and products in the online U.S. Dairy Product Supplier Search Engine.
  • Individualized consultation and assistance on import requirements and technical barriers by USDEC's team of regulatory experts.
  • Access to USDEC's entire team of dairy export experts for questions or comments.
  • Support from eight international offices in China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, and Vietnam.
  • Access to the proprietary, web-based USDEC Export Guide, the only comprehensive trade reference for U.S. dairy exporters, with volumes dedicated to global tariffs, health certification and inspection requirements, and labeling and product standards for more than 90 countries.

U.S. Center of Dairy Excellence - Singapore

Access to a hub and meeting space in Southeast Asia for customers and members to spark collaboration, ideation, and exploration of US dairy as an innovation solution. This staffed, 5,400-square-foot facility boasts:

  • A state-of-the-art demo kitchen and sensory lab
  • Multi-configuration classroom training facilities
  • Conference and meeting rooms
  • Video streaming capabilities
  • Product sample storage

To learn more about the CDE, visit the website.

News, Market Reports, and Research

  • Insights on export market access through USDEC Member Alerts.
  • Access to the Global Dairy eBrief, a weekly newsletter that includes updates on global dairy developments that impact U.S. dairy exports
  • Proprietary research, market information, industry benchmarks, and consumer insights on key global dairy export regions.
  • Custom research and consultations for members looking to access specific markets.
  • Weekly, monthly, and annual dairy economics publications including:
    • Leading Indicators A bi-weekly report from the NMPF and USDEC Dairy Economics Team focuses on high level updates in the dairy export world.
    • International Demand Analysis - A monthly report outlining the latest global dairy trade trends and data combined with commentary analyzing demand in key markets for dairy export products all with a forward-looking lens and US exporter viewpoint.
    • USDEC Data Hub - A web-based, interactive hub containing dairy data, prices, production, key imports, and U.S. exports.

Networking Opportunities

  • Complimentary attendance at USDEC’s annual membership meeting, where members can network, build connections, and learn about USDEC activities with other members, USDEC staff, and dairy industry professionals.
  • Bi-annual USDEC committee meetings for participating members.
  • Access to two dedicated marketing teams that focus on driving demand for US dairy ingredients and US cheese.

Participation in USDEC Governance

  • A seat on USDEC's Board of Directors
  • Voting privileges and membership on USDEC's committees
  • Opportunities to provide input on USDEC programs and strategies.
  • An annual confidential copy of the USDEC Operating Plan. The plan details USDEC's focus areas, organizational goals, strategies, and programs for the coming year.

Committee Participation

  • Participate on any of USDEC's industry-focused committees including:
    • Trade Policy Committee*
    • Cheese Marketing Advisory Panel
    • Ingredients Advisory Group
    • Market Access and Regulatory Affairs Advisory Group
    • Sustainability and Multilateral Affairs Advisory Group

*The Trade Policy Committee is only open to U.S. companies.

Government, Industry, and Global Relations

  • A government relations team (handled by Trade Policy) to act as a liaison between membership and the federal and international governments on trade issues, trade policy development, and uniform industry positions on export issues.
  • USDEC is a founding member of the Consortium of Common Food Names, an international initiative to preserve the right to use generic food names.
  • A "seat at the table" on global dairy issues through USDEC's Sustainability and Multilateral Affairs (SAMA) team. They engage in global policy dialogue around sustainability, food security, nutrition, and the role of dairy in the future of the global food system.
  • SAMA regularly interacts and advocates on behalf of US dairy with the following organization:
    • World Health Organization
    • CODEX, International Food Standards
    • World Organization for Animal Health
    • Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations
    • United Nations Environment Programme
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    • Committee on World Food Security

Requirements for Membership

Membership in USDEC is open to dairy processors, businesses, and individuals who have a vested interest in the U.S. dairy export industry and who have base of operation in the United States. Membership is subject to approval by our board of directors.

To request more information about membership and membership dues, click here.

Who are U.S. Dairy Export Council Members?

USDEC membership comprises over 110 organizations, including state and regional checkoff boards, dairy processors, agribusinesses, trading companies, and cooperatives, who together form a unique partnership to build global markets for U.S. dairy products. For more information about our members, see the membership directory.

USDEC Membership Categories

  1. Processor or Cooperative
  2. Trading Company
  3. Qualified Promotion Programs (Checkoff State and Regional organizations)
  4. Allied Member (Ingredient, Packaging, Equipment, Transportation, Farm Supply)
  5. Individual Allied Member (Consultants, Attorneys, PR agencies, Financial Institutions, Trade Associations)

Interested in learning more?  Reach out to USDEC's membership team through the contact form.