WASHINGTON, September 14, 2022— Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement today on the $3+ billion announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities:
“On behalf of America’s dairy processing industry, IDFA applauds the historic investments announced today by USDA in climate smart food and agricultural practices, including dairy production. Approximately $700 million of the more than $3 billion committed today by USDA to voluntary, incentive-based efforts will support climate and conservation projects in dairy and dairy-related businesses, catapulting the United States into a position of global leadership in climate-smart food and agricultural production.
“U.S. dairy has committed significant resources to achieve ambitious environmental stewardship goals, including greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality, optimized water use, improved water quality, and more efficient energy and land use, by 2050. Ultimately, these efforts led by dairy farmers and dairy cooperatives and supported, in part, by processors, will support our nation’s production of healthy, nourishing dairy foods and beverages for people around the world. The new funding announced today by USDA will only enhance our collective efforts.
“The U.S. dairy industry has taken real and measurable actions to reduce GHG emissions both at the manufacturing and farm levels. As a result, the dairy sector has become increasingly known as having the capacity to reliably reduce and remove GHG from the atmosphere while providing valuable and necessary food products. We believe dairy as part of the broader agriculture and forestry sectors is a central part of the solution to the climate crisis and many dairy companies are working closely with their farmer suppliers and in their own plants to set and meet ambitious goals and targets.
“From end to end, our nation’s food and agriculture industry is making significant investments and doing the difficult work to reduce GHG throughout our supply chain. All this good work could hold much less meaning, however, if international organizations will not permit more transparent GHG reporting and accounting. That is why a new GHG disclosure framework needs to be established to remove bias against responsible actors seeking to reduce GHG emissions within their operations and value chains, such as U.S. dairy. We call on USDA to work with partners in the U.S. Government and international organizations such as the United Nations to protect the GHG reductions made within our supply chains. U.S. agriculture is leading the world in sustainability, and we must do all we can to safeguard our leadership position.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.