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Obama Re-establishes Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba have re-established diplomatic relations, effective July 20, and will re-open embassies in their respective countries. According to The Hagstrom Report, it is unclear what impact re-establishing diplomatic relations will have on U.S.-Cuban agricultural relations.

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Spain Hopes to Ease U.S. Egg Shortage

A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report states that Spain has expressed interest in exporting shelled eggs to the United States to help the ease the current egg shortage caused by recent outbreaks of avian influenza, also known as bird flu. The outbreaks have caused a shortage of eggs in the food industry, and dairy companies are seeking alternative sources to meet their demands. According to USDA data, approximately 36 million egg-laying hens have been removed from U.S. flocks, causing about a 35-percent drop in the processed egg supply.

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Trade News Update: TPA Signed into Law

After taking a circuitous route to the White House, “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015,” (TPA-2015) was signed into law by President Obama on Monday, along with the Trade Adjustment Assistance and several U.S. trade preference programs. IDFA urges members to reach out and thank members of Congress who voted for the TPA bill. Read more here about the bill’s path to passage as well as updates on Country-of-Origin-Labeling and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Importer Program Under FSMA

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires the Food and Drug Administration to establish a voluntary, fee-based program that will expedite the review of imported foods for importing companies that maintain a high level of control over their supply chains. Last week, FDA issued draft guidance for industry on the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program for importers of human or animal food and is seeking comments before finalizing the guidance.

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(L to R): Casey McCue, N.Y. Dept. of Ag and Markets; Tristan Zuber, Cornell University; Richard Ball, N.Y. Dept. of Ag and Markets; Cary Frye, IDFA; and Maria Knirk, N.Y. Dept. of Ag and Markets.

(L to R): Casey McCue, N.Y. Dept. of Ag and Markets; Tristan Zuber, Cornell University; Richard Ball, N.Y. Dept. of Ag and Markets; Cary Frye, IDFA; and Maria Knirk, N.Y. Dept. of Ag and Markets.

Cornell Convenes Forum to Encourage Growth of Fluid Milk

Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, joined more than 60 milk processors, farmers, professors and marketers last week at the Northeast Fluid Milk Forum in Syracuse, N.Y. Hosted by Cornell University, the forum brought together private and public sectors in the industry to seek opportunities for fluid milk growth and encouraged pre-competitive marketing and innovation strategies for increasing consumption. Frye’s presentation, “What Is Milk? The True Standard of Identity,” laid the groundwork for the forum with an examination of the standards of identity defining fluid milk and resulting product labeling rules. Click on headline to read more.

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IDFA Kicks Off National Ice Cream Month with Instagram Contest

IDFA’s celebration began yesterday with the annual ice cream photo contest on Instagram. People following IDFA on Instagram (@dairyidfa) are invited to share photos that show how they are celebrating National Ice Cream Month. Entries should include the hashtag #IceCreamMonth. Each Friday in July, the person with the photo that receives the most “likes” will receive free ice cream. IDFA is asking member ice cream companies to invite their fans and followers to participate in the contest.

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Three IDFA Members Earn U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards

Hilmar Cheese Company, HP Hood LLC and Prairie Farms Dairy were recognized last week for their outstanding efforts, respectively, in energy and water conservation, repurposing packaging for renewable fuel and providing affordable products to neighbors in need. The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability went to Hilmar Cheese. The award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships went to HP Hood, and Prairie Farms earned an honorable mention in the same category.

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Dairy Show Announces On-Floor Education Programs

The education programs will cover nearly 6,000 square feet, offering something for everyone and allowing attendees to learn and hone their skills without having to leave the action of the show. Read more.

MovingDairyForward
idfa-logo-with-taglineHands-on Microbiological Testing, Food Safety and Laboratory Practices
July 14 - 16, 2015
Jordan Valley Innovation Center
Springfield, MO

 This course is offered exclusively for dairy industry professionals with food safety responsibilities, including those working in quality assurance and control, sanitation, maintenance, operations and more. The course was developed by IDFA and Chestnut Labs to provide skills and tools for dairy plant professionals with responsibility for ensuring food safety.

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Organic Market Is Booming

Organic milk sales increased 9.5 percent during the first 11 months of 2014, reports USDA.

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