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Dairy Forum's objectives for 2023

One thing was clear from the Dairy Forum 2023: nutrition and wellness, global competitiveness, and sustainability are among the key objectives for 2023. The U.S. dairy industry continues to perform well despite the ongoing challenges. The industry is shaped by constant innovation brought on by changing consumer preferences and decarbonization commitments. As the industry continues to change, the dairy industry needs to INSPIRE, which was the theme for this year’s Dairy Forum.

Our local USA in-market sales representative, Frank Ruche, went along to learn what’s happening across the US dairy sector and explore opportunities to collaborate with more dairy companies to encourage the adoption of new technologies. “Dairy companies understand the challenges they face and are beginning to proactively use technology and innovation to help tackle some of these. This year the IDFA Dairy Forum in Orlando, Florida, highlighted the sector's willingness to look ahead for new ways of doing things,” said Frank.

Dairy Forum outlined five key objectives to help enhance the dairy industry and keep dairy companies thriving in 2023:

  1. Health, Wellness, and Nutrition: Good nutrition is the foundation of health and wellness for adults, children, and babies. Dairy is a crucial part of a healthy diet from a young age. IDFA is collaborating with industry partners to generate support for new and overlooked research to better inform the Dietary Guidelines for Americans on dairy's positive impact on human health. It is also crucial the dairy industry must also strengthen dairy's role in food security.
  2. People: Lack of staff is challenging and impacting output at farms and processing facilities. It is now essential that all sectors work together to create an economy that responds to workforce challenges and treats all involved equitably and fairly. People now need to be equipped with ways to retain and attract talent to cover all aspects of the workforce.
  3. USA Global Position: The dairy industry's goal is to capture more customers in the U.S. and worldwide. More policy is needed to open up the world and reflect the expanding marketplace. People now demand more cheese, butter, and yogurt than conventional fluid milk.
  4. Sustainability: Expanding opportunities for incentive-based sustainability practices in the dairy industry and educating people on greenhouse gas emissions reporting and accounting standards. Dairy is progressing on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues. Knowing that U.S. dairy is walking the walk on sustainability, U.S. dairy has committed to 75% of dairy products to be net zero by 2050; a step in the right direction encompasses packaging, animals, milk, and the whole supply chain building reliable, flexible systems.
  5. Technology & Innovation: All of these sustainability and product offerings and advancements require technology and innovation, and well-optimized supply chains are crucial in achieving these goals, reaching sustainability goals, and equipping businesses to automate while hardening their defenses against cybercrime. 

    As the dairy sector delivers on these objectives it will thrive. Technology and innovation, such as digitalizing the milk supply chain, is something we strongly advocate for.

Implementing digital tools for dairy will continue to change how business is managed, decisions are made, and communication takes place. This puts accurate information back in the hands of industry leaders and decision-makers to help drive better outcomes. With the ongoing challenges faced by the dairy industry, especially the fragility of supply chains and the impact disruption can have on consumer goods, it is very encouraging to see technology being prioritized.