Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 76

ASSOCIATION INSIGHTS
Achieving more
together
by Michael Dykes | International Dairy Foods Association
R
ecently, a supply chain bottleneck began limiting the
availability of gable top milk cartons used in school
milk. Some schools reacted by saying they would
remove milk from the menu if supplies became limited. The
International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) jumped into
action, pulling together packaging suppliers, milk processors,
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state officials to
help keep nutritious milk flowing to students.
At the same time, IDFA is battling stringent sodium
reduction targets that could lead to less safe food for
consumers. We do this while working with Congress on
the current appropriations bill to fund the US government
- which includes many dairy industry prioritiesn - mand
paving the way for IDFA objectives in the upcoming Farm Bill,
among many other efforts underway at IDFA.
SEEING THE VALUE
After more than six years in my role with IDFA, I've never
been more convinced of the value of a collective, effective
Washington-based trade association than I am today. When I
came to IDFA, I was committed to expanding the association,
giving a voice within our leadership to all segments of US dairy,
and instilling a proactive, collaborative approach to our work.
For most IDFA members, the association has become a
lifeline, giving access to deeply experienced regulatory and
legislative affairs staff, strategic communications expertise,
professional development and continuing education resources
for their employees, research and market insights, contact with
government officials, and networking opportunities where
business connections are made and problems get solved.
Whether a multinational organization or single-plant,
family-owned processor or supplier, IDFA consistently
delivers an impressive return on investment for our members.
In an ever-resource-conscious business environment,
having an external team of subject matter experts is smart.
76 NOV-DEC 2023 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
IDFA's team, with decades of experience on Capitol Hill, in
Washington's federal regulatory agencies, and in positions
throughout the dairy and food industries, sets the gold
standard among Washington trade associations, 100%
committed to protecting the interests of US dairy.
That's good news for US processors and suppliers,
because our world is extraordinarily complex and uncertain.
Regulatory agencies in Washington and around the world
are promulgating rules impacting US dairy. Large pieces of
legislation, such as the Farm Bill, which once enjoyed huge
bipartisan support, are becoming more difficult to get done
every five years. Add supply chain interruptions, international
trade bottlenecks, and black swan events like the COVID-19
pandemic or crippling cyber attacks, and it's clear that an
isolated, go-it-alone approach just doesn't work in today's
environment. Here are a few examples of where IDFA
membership pays dividends:
Political affairs: IDFA operates one of the most
effective political affairs organizations in Washington, DC.
Our work allows IDFA members to pool their resources and
speak in a unified voice. This is how we build relationships
with lawmakers that result in significant new programs
for dairy, like the SNAP Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive
Program and the Dairy Forward Pricing Program. IDFA's
political affairs work ensures existing policies that benefit
dairy remain in place, such as the ability to serve milk in
school meals and inclusion of dairy throughout federal
nutrition programs. It also allows us to guard against
harmful or onerous regulations that would irreparably harm
dairy businesses, such as restrictive sodium standards in
cheesemaking that may lead to less safe food for consumers.
Advocacy: Through a combination of government relations,
regulatory expertise, and a mix of grassroots and coalitionled
engagements, IDFA advocates on behalf of dairy foods
companies on critical issues. Following decades of advocacy,
Regulatory agencies in Washington and around the
world are promulgating rules impacting US dairy.
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Dairy Processing - November/December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dairy Processing - November/December 2023

Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - Intro
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 1
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 2
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 3
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 4
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 5
Dairy Processing - November/December 2023 - 6
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