Innovation

Innovation is a key driver in dairy’s unfolding success story for sustainability. Using new technology and processes that increase efficiency and save resources, companies can create products and packaging that meet consumer needs and protect the planet at that same time. As a highly regulated industry, however, dairy frequently faces restrictions that can limit innovative efforts and hinder actions toward greater sustainability.   

Our Position

IDFA is paving the way for dairy processors to keep innovating. Working with federal regulators, we’re making strides toward modernizing standards of identity in ways that will encourage new technologies and foster innovation. On Capitol Hill, we’ve shown lawmakers the impact dairy has on the U.S. economy and encouraged them to invest in activities that will allow the industry to continue to contribute, innovate and grow.  

Deeper Dive

Federal funding for research

Millions of pounds of nutrient-rich ice cream co-product is discarded after production because no technology exists to capture it. Nearly 5% of the raw materials end up as waste, and it’s costing companies millions of dollars a year in lost product and disposal fees. IDFA believes companies can save and reinvest that money in new hires and products with the development of novel, industrywide solutions.

That’s why IDFA asked for – and received – federal funding for USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to research how to recover the co-product and keep it from going to waste. The results could have similar applications for other additional dairy products.

Member Highlight: HP Hood LLC

IDFA celebrates the efforts of HP Hood LLC, a member company employing innovation to fuel its sustainability progress. In 2019, HP Hood’s plant in Agawam, Mass., became the first fluid milk and yogurt processing plant to earn ENERGY STAR certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary EPA-backed certification known by consumers as a symbol of energy efficiency. EPA's program provides resources, such as the Dairy Sector Energy Guide and Processing Focus, to help dairy companies improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of their processing facilities, and ultimately earn the ENERGY STAR certification. Read more.

For more information, contact Danielle Quist, IDFA senior director, regulatory affairs and counsel, at dquist@idfa.org.

Staff Contact

Danielle Quist

Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Counsel