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New USDA initiative, investment to bolster U.S. dairy global competitiveness

CONTACTS:

Mark O'Keefe, USDEC
PHONE: (703) 528-4812
FAX: 703-528-3705
mokeefe@usdec.org

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) commends the Biden administration and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for taking key steps on Wednesday to help U.S. dairy suppliers meet rising global demand for dairy while charting a long-term, climate-smart course that advances the robust environmental commitments U.S. dairy producers and processors have made.

“USDA’s announcement on market disruption support speaks directly to the severe port congestion and export shipping delays that have been challenging U.S. dairy exporters for the past year,” said Krysta Harden, USDEC president and CEO. “And its decision to finance the deployment of climate-smart farming practices to aid the marketing of sustainable products, including dairy, will help deliver even greater U.S. leadership in sustainably feeding the planet in the years ahead.

“We expect both measures will help improve U.S. competitiveness by facilitating trade and helping our industry fulfill the ever-increasing demand for sustainably produced milk and dairy products,” she added.

USDA jointly announced the two developments on Wednesday. As part of a $3-billion investment package targeting urgent challenges facing agriculture today, it earmarked $500 million to provide relief to farmers and food producers from agricultural market disruptions. Those disruptions include transportation challenges and other near-term obstacles related to the marketing and distribution of certain commodities including dairy products.

The separate climate-smart agriculture and forestry partnership initiative complements the U.S. dairy industry’s world-leading sustainability commitments. Guided by science, USDA will support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate-smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices.

“U.S. dairy farmers and processors have been and will remain leaders in sustainable agricultural production, supporting innovative use of technology and committing to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the forward-thinking Net Zero Initiative,” said Harden. “USDA’s climate-smart announcement will provide additional pathways for U.S. dairy producers to reduce their environmental impact and aligns perfectly with USDEC’s own enhanced global engagement on sustainability.”

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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.