WASHINGTON, February 8, 2022—Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, released the following statement today on the news that U.S. agricultural exports including dairy set a record for value and volume in 2021. According to USDA today, U.S. farm and food products to the world totaled $177 billion, topping the 2020 total by 18 percent and eclipsing the previous record set in 2014 by 14.6 percent. Moreover, U.S. agricultural exports logged 230.7 million metric tons of volume in 2021, another record.
“Today’s export figures demonstrate how the United States is poised to become the world’s leading supplier of dairy products thanks to the resilience and innovation of American dairy exporters and dairy foods companies. Consumers in the United States and around the world continue to demand more U.S. dairy because we provide an assortment of delicious, nutritious, affordable, and sustainable dairy products. From high-value whey to award-winning cheeses, from milk powders used to make life-saving products for children and adults to safe and nutritious ESL milk, U.S. dairy is known throughout the world for quality and reliability.
“As we dig into the export data released today, we see that U.S. dairy exports hit a record $7.66 billion in 2021, outperforming the previous record of $7.08 billion achieved in 2014. Volume also set a new high, reaching 2.69 million metric tons to outpace the previous record of 2.44 million metric tons set in 2020.
“While today’s news is certainly cause for celebration among U.S. food and agriculture, exporters throughout the dairy industry remain severely challenged by supply chain challenges that have hampered our ability to export more product, fulfill obligations to customers, and meet the world’s growing demand for U.S. dairy. According to industry estimates, export delays and supply chain challenges have cost the dairy industry more than $1.5 billion in lost opportunities. Through the IDFA Supply Chain Task Force and Dairy Exports Working Group, IDFA members and partners continue to look for long-term solutions to help U.S. dairy exports reach greater heights in the months and years ahead. We encourage the Biden Administration to remain active in removing bottlenecks, investing in infrastructure, and looking at public-private solutions to ease supply chain challenges.”
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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.