WASHINGTON, March 23, 2020—Today’s dairy leaders are redefining what it means to be sustainable businesses by elevating good business practices, developing and implementing transportation and logistics solutions, ensuring the highest standards for animal welfare, and committing to and achieving environmental stewardship throughout their supply chains.
The International Dairy Foods Association is pleased to introduce Dairy Innovator Dialogues, a new video and multimedia series presented by IDFA that goes behind the scenes with today's most innovative dairy leaders and companies. Each episode of Dairy Innovator Dialogues is hosted by IDFA President & CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., and underscores stories of innovation, sustainability and smart growth happening throughout the dairy supply chain thanks to industry leaders and forward thinkers. Viewers will get the inside scoop on what it takes to remain competitive and successful in a quickly evolving industry. Hear from dairy industry executives, analysts, and thought leaders about how U.S. dairy is leading the world in sustainable business practices, applying data and technology to solve multiple challenges, and connecting with today's consumer at a deeper, more meaningful level than any other category within the food and beverage industry.
“Today’s dairy leaders are redefining what it means to be innovative by elevating data and analytics throughout the supply chain, developing and implementing transportation and logistics solutions, ensuring the highest standards for animal welfare, and committing to and achieving environmental stewardship throughout their businesses,” said Dykes. “Dairy Innovator Dialogues is a lesson in show and tell—you’ll see how dairy companies are responding to consumer demand, growing markets, modernizing operations, delivering sustainable products, and giving back to their communities. I am so proud of the leadership shown by America’s dairy industry, and this series brings it to life.”
Each week, IDFA will release a new episode of Dairy Innovator Dialogues. This season’s episodes feature interviews with: Jeff Kaneb, chief operating officer, HP Hood; Doug Wilke, chief executive officer, Valley Queen Cheese Factory; Jerry Kaminski, chief operating officer, Land O’Lakes; Ed Mullins, chief executive officer and executive vice president, Prairie Farms Dairy; and Patrick Criteser, president and chief executive officer, Tillamook County Creamery Association. You can learn more about Dairy Innovator Dialogues and IDFA’s Dairy Innovates campaign at www.idfa.org/dairyinnovates.
Episode 1: Ed Mullins, CEO and Executive Vice President of Prairie Farms Dairy, discusses Prairie Farms' history of growth and innovation. Prairie Farms Dairy is a cooperative of more than 800 farm families. Founded as a one plant operation, the co-op now owns and manages 44 plants throughout the Midwest. Mullins, who has been with Prairie Farms for 39 years, said the only constant in dairy is change. He’s seen a number of significant changes of late that improve production efficiencies: "It's the technologies that have come forward that allow you to produce a product at a more efficient cost, traceability, warehouse management systems where within 5 or 10 minutes you can find out where the product is—in-house, in distribution, or at what warehouse. Previously, it took four or five hours to do that."
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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 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 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.