Dairy industry supports efforts to negotiate new health certificate agreement
Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington D.C., April 30, 2010) The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today applauded the announcement by China granting the U.S. 30 days to work with Chinese authorities to secure agreement on a new health certificate for food-grade dairy exports to China. Industry leaders also praised the Chinese government for its recognition of the need to allow trade to continue while resolution of this complex issue is addressed by technical staff.
On April 21 the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) sent a letter to the U.S. government notifying them that due to the lack of an agreed-upon health certificate, China planned to no longer accept U.S. food-grade dairy products as of May 1. There had been no ongoing discussions related to an inadequacy of U.S. certification language prior to the notification.
Swift action by the Foreign Agriculture Service, in close coordination with the U.S. Trade Representative's Office (USTR), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed the market to remain open and enable trade to continue to flow uninterrupted. The U.S. dairy industry exports billions of dollars of dairy products all around the world; foreign sales last year totaled $2.3 billion. As global trade is one of the most critical components of our industry today, policies that maintain and grow returns to the U.S. dairy sector play a critical role.
IDFA, USDEC and NMPF indicated their intent to work closely with the U.S. government to ensure successful resolution of this issue over the course of the next month and urged attention to the need for careful coordination among the relevant U.S. agencies in order to secure agreement on new certificate language during this period.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) 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 National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 40,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.