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Headline News

  • August 31, 2017

    Allan to Represent IDFA on NCIMS Executive Board

    John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, was appointed last week to the Executive Board of the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS). In this position, Allan will represent IDFA, advocating for its members’ interests on issues that impact companies that process, package and market Grade “A” milk and milk products. “NCIMS and its Executive Board undertake important work in keeping the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance up-to-date with current science and technology, federal regulations and good industry practices, helping to ensure the safety of Grade “A” products,” said Allan. “I am honored to continue working on behalf of IDFA member companies in collaboration with all stakeholders to create an efficient, yet robust, national program for milk and milk product safety.”
  • August 31, 2017

    EU Moves Closer to Blocking Use of Common Cheese Names in Mexico

    As a part of talks to reexamine its trade agreement with the European Union, Mexico this month issued a list of product names it is considering protecting as geographical indications (GIs). This list includes 340 terms, including cheeses, wines and spirits. “Many cheese names that U.S. dairy companies produce and export show up on this list,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs. “Mexico is our number one cheese export market and we are taking this seriously. This latest action is another example of the European Union using GI agreements to effectively limit fair competition from non-EU cheese, wine and meat producers around the world.”
  • August 31, 2017

    The Economic Impact of Dairy: California is Top Dairy State for Overall Impact

    The dairy products industry in California employs nearly 105,000 skilled individuals, generates $5.34 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $29.5 billion. The state has the largest overall economic impact of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to IDFA’s powerful new interactive tool. It is designed to help tell the story of the economic power of the dairy products industry. See what the tool says about your state.
  • August 28, 2017

    Dykes: Bilateral Trade Pacts Needed for U.S. Dairy’s Global Growth

    While the opening earlier this month of trilateral negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a welcome step forward for U.S. dairy, “a modernized NAFTA represents only one spoke on the wheel of trade agreements that are necessary for a healthy U.S. dairy industry,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, in his Cheese Market News column last week. “The United States must simultaneously forge new trade agreements, starting with the emerging economies of the Asia-Pacific region, where dairy consumption is rising rapidly,” he said, noting that IDFA will continue to work with members of the administration and Congress to push for policies and pacts that will preserve and grow dairy exports. “Renegotiating NAFTA is a great start, but we need an ambitious U.S. trade agenda to provide similar success stories for dairy in the future,” he concluded.
  • August 25, 2017

    FDA Releases Food Defense Rule Compliance Guide for Small Businesses

    The Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a guide to help small businesses comply with the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The rule requires many U.S. food companies to develop action plans to counteract the possibility, however unlikely, that an act of intentional adulteration could affect the U.S. food supply and cause widespread public harm. The guidance includes recommendations for companies building a food defense plan, analyzing vulnerabilities, implementing mitigation strategies and managing records that adequately monitor these actions.
  • August 23, 2017

    First NAFTA Talks Conclude; IDFA on Tap to Advise US Negotiators

    The first round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) concluded this week in Washington, D.C., after officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico conducted discussions on more than two dozen negotiation topics related to updating the 23-year-old trade pact. IDFA and other industry stakeholders engaged with U.S. negotiators throughout the talks, which will resume for a second round September 1-5 in Mexico City. Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, is the dairy processor representative on the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and remains on tap to advise U.S. officials on the industry’s priorities throughout the negotiations.
  • August 23, 2017

    IDFA Develops Searchable Database for FDA Milk Safety Memos

    IDFA has made it easier to access information issued by the Food and Drug Administration’s Milk Safety Branch on Grade “A” products and production with its online database unveiled last week. Accessible to only IDFA members, the database provides a comprehensive search function not available anywhere else and allows companies to quickly access the information they need to make critical decisions. The information in the memorandums is useful to dairy companies because it provides interpretations from the Milk Safety Branch and FDA Office of Labeling on specific questions and issues pertaining to the Grade “A” Interstate Milk Shipments Program.
  • August 23, 2017

    Fight for US IP Rights, IDFA and Trade Groups Tell State Department

    American companies rely on the role of the United States in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to protect and enforce U.S. intellectual property rights abroad, but the U.S. government now risks losing its seat at the table, according to IDFA and 19 other trade associations. In a letter sent last week, the groups told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson it hoped that the United States would release its financial contribution to WIPO by January 1, 2018, allowing the United States to maintain its active role in the organization.
  • August 23, 2017

    IDFA Clarifies Actions in Asia Affecting Dairy Exports

    IDFA is calling attention this week to new policy changes and developments in China, Indonesia and Japan that could affect the ability of its member companies to export dairy products to those markets. U.S. dairy companies exported more than $386 million worth of dairy products to China last year. The Chinese government last month published its new list of dairy companies it will accept as importers to the country. “We encourage all dairy companies to review this list and make sure your establishment and list of products is accurate,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs. “All revisions need to be made in FDA's Dairy Listing Module before September 1 to ensure your company can properly export to China.”
  • August 23, 2017

    Get Up to Speed with Lab Training for Dairy

    To help food safety and quality control professionals stay on top of good laboratory practices and techniques, IDFA is joining with Chestnut Labs to offer its popular “Hands-On Microbiological Testing, Food Safety and Laboratory Best Practices” course November 7-9 in Springfield, Missouri. “This course is not only extremely valuable to those new to the industry, but, as we’ve heard from numerous past participants, it can also be a great refresher course for those who have been on the job for many years,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
  • August 16, 2017

    NAFTA Negotiations Begin This Week; IDFA Gears Up for Action

    The first round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) begin today in Washington, D.C., marking the start of trade talks between officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico to update the 23-year-old trade pact. Maintaining the U.S. dairy industry’s export market in Mexico is the number one priority for IDFA in the renegotiation. IDFA has also pushed for the negotiators to use NAFTA to address problems with Canada’s use of new milk pricing policies that undercut skim milk powder prices on the international market, to eliminate steep tariffs and to seek greater dairy market access to the country. IDFA will take full advantage of any opportunities to engage with negotiators and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure that the priorities of the U.S. dairy industry are addressed as the talks progress.
  • August 16, 2017

    IDFA, NMPF Call for Greater Transparency on Illnesses From Drinking Raw Milk

    IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) learned through a recent report by Food Safety News that a foodborne illness outbreak attributed to raw milk occurred in Virginia in 2016, but state officials did not take appropriate steps to alert the public and warn about the dangers of drinking raw milk. Expressing their disappointment, IDFA and NMPF sent a letter last week to officials in Virginia’s departments of agriculture and health, calling for speed and transparency in communicating news of future outbreaks to the public to protect consumers from the health risk of drinking raw milk.
  • August 16, 2017

    IDFA Joins Food, Ag Groups Asking White House to Make Disclosure Standard a Priority

    The deadline to finalize regulations for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard is only a year away, and it’s critical for the administration, under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to get it done on time, IDFA and 18 other food and agriculture groups told the White House in a letter last week. In a letter addressed to Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the groups expressed concern about how the administration has prioritized efforts to complete the rulemaking and urged OMB to consider the economic costs that compliance with the Vermont labeling law would have imposed on the food and agriculture industry.
  • August 16, 2017

    Double-Check Your Food Safety Plan with New FDA Tool

    The Food and Drug Administration last week announced the availability of a new, voluntary tool designed to help food companies create a food safety plan for their facilities. IDFA members participated in the development of the software, called the Food Safety Plan Builder, which guides users through every step of creating a food safety plan, as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act. “IDFA encourages food safety professionals looking to identify gaps and areas for enhancement in their current plans to use the tool and to improve food safety upstream and downstream by sharing it with suppliers and customers, as appropriate,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
  • August 16, 2017

    IDFA Welcomes New Gold Business Partner: Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

    Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., a provider of investment banking and financial advisory services, has joined IDFA this month as a Gold Business Partner. The company, located in New York, New York, provides services involving debt and equity, capital markets, fixed income and equity research, and wealth and asset management.
 
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