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USDEC Reconfirms its Commitment to Latin America


Mark O'Keefe, USDEC
PHONE: (703) 528-4812

Randall Cordero, IICA
PHONE: (+506)2216 0222

ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) today renewed their partnership to bolster cooperation and collaboration between the two groups to promote and harmonize science-based regulations across food and agriculture trade policies. 

Today’s announcement reflects a recommitment to the broader principles first unveiled three years ago, when the two groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The addendum to the MOU signed today extends the partnership for an additional three years and updates the agreement’s language to include a greater focus on collaboration on sustainability and food systems issues. 

“It is successful partnerships like these that help deliver science-based regulations, while reducing unnecessary trade barriers,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Our recent trip to Colombia and Peru reinforced the exceptional importance of this region and we are proud to extend this partnership with IICA.”

“We grow stronger when our region is able to speak with one voice. That is why it is essential we work together to harmonize science-based health, safety, sustainability and quality standards,” said Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA. “We are delighted to build upon the continued success of our previous cooperation with USDEC.”

“IICA has long been a leader in the region, delivering technical support and expertise throughout the Americas,” said Jaime Castaneda, executive vice president of policy development and strategy for USDEC. “As the world’s attention continues to turn to sustainability, IICA is perfectly positioned to continue that leadership, offering the tools nations need to ensure new regulations are grounded in science.”

U.S. dairy exports to Latin America grew 17% last year, based on USDEC data. Total U.S. exports to Latin America grew 37%, the fastest growth across any region in 2021.

The agreement signed with IICA also complements an agreement USDEC previously signed with the Pan American Dairy Federation (FEPALE), which provides USDEC with an additional channel to communicate and engage with stakeholders in Latin America.


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.