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IDFA Works with NCIMS to Avert Potential Trade Issue with EU

Nov 13, 2006

IDFA Works with NCIMS to Avert Potential Trade Issue with EU

Working closely with the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), IDFA has helped to develop a new international certification program that will avert trade action from the European Union (EU). The new program will allow third-party certifiers to verify that overseas dairy facilities meet Grade A certification standards so they can export Grade A dairy products to the United States.

"IDFA staff has been instrumental in working as part of the NCIMS committee, specifically helping to draft the third-party certifier application," said Clay Hough, IDFA senior vice president. "We believe the pilot program will provide a positive step forward for the global dairy industry, and it will help to facilitate trade and avoid unnecessary trade action."

European dairy companies have struggled to gain Grade A certification, which is required by the NCIMS Grade A milk program and the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance before companies can export Grade A-type (fluid milk and cultured) dairy products to the United States. As a result, the EU had threatened to bring trade action against NCIMS through the World Trade Organization.

NCIMS created the pilot program to give international companies another way to become Grade A certified, and successful participants will be allowed to sell Grade A milk and milk products in the U.S. market. Once the three third-party certifiers have been announced on January 1, 2007, each one will select two international dairy processing plants to evaluate for certification.

For more information, contact Hough at


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