U.S. Dairy Highlights Supply Chain Challenges at White House Roundtable
Mark O'Keefe, USDEC
Theresa Sweeney-Murphy, NMPF
ARLINGTON, VA - National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) Executive Vice President for Policy, Jaime Castaneda, joined members of the Biden-Harris Administration's Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to discuss the challenges facing the export industry regarding current supply chain disruptions.
The virtual roundtable held today featured a handful of groups in the agricultural export industry. NMPF and USDEC are pleased that the supply chain issues adversely affecting U.S. dairy exports are gaining broader attention.
"These issues warrant the focus of the entire federal government in order to address the negative economic effects on both businesses and consumers from these challenges," said Castaneda. "This discussion was a first positive step which we hope will continue to drive high-level attention to the obstacles affecting U.S. supply chains and exports."
Since the onset of COVID in early 2020, supply chains have been severely imbalanced, with significant consequences for many American industries. USDEC, NMPF, and other agriculture organizations and companies have been leading the policy push for supply chain improvements to mitigate congestion limiting U.S. exports and in particular ensuring that containers leave U.S. ports full of agriculture products.
During a Nov. 3 U.S. House Agriculture Committee hearing, Mike Durkin, President and CEO of Leprino Foods, noted that "this export crisis may well result in irreparable harm to American agriculture as customers around the world are questioning the U.S. dairy industry's reliability as a supplier."
NMPF and USDEC expressed appreciation for the opportunity to share with the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force how the Administration can help address the nation's supply chain issues, and specifically, focus its attention on the challenges facing the U.S. dairy industry, shippers, and exporters.
The organizations have also urged the Administration to convene a meeting with food and agriculture industry CEOs to discuss how the White House and Congress can take immediate action to implement additional measures, such as passing ocean shipping reform legislation, addressing critical transportation industry labor and shipping equipment shortages, and other steps that will help American agriculture producers reach their foreign markets effectively.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record. www.usdec.org.