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  • New USDEC center in Singapore designed to serve SE Asia’s growing need for U.S. Dairy

    By USDEC October 22, 2020

    The state-of-the-art facility is designed to be an education hub and collaborative meeting place that inspires innovation utilizing U.S. dairy ingredients and cheeses.

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council officially unveiled a new U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence (U.S. CDE) in Singapore on Wednesday to serve as a hub for collaborative dairy innovation in Southeast Asia.

    The U.S. CDE is a state-of-the-art gathering place for the U.S. dairy community and Southeast Asia’s food and beverage stakeholders to explore innovative ways to utilize U.S. dairy products and ingredients. The investment is a tangible illustration of increasing optimism for a more prosperous U.S. dairy future in a fast-growing region that includes Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines,Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Funding comes from U.S. dairy farmers through the national dairy checkoff program.

    Dalilah Ghazalay, USDEC regional director in Southeast Asia, explains how the Center will help drive demand for more U.S. Dairy. 

    A “long-term commitment”

    “The U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence creates an education hub and meeting place where relationships can be developed and strengthened, where we can share market intelligence and insights, spark ideation, lead research, and share the remarkable story of U.S. Dairy’s sustainable production,” said Secretary Tom Vilsack, USDEC president and CEO.

    “It represents a long-term commitment by the U.S. dairy industry to the region and exports, and recognition of the importance of Southeast Asia as an innovation hub.”

    A virtual launch celebration was held on Wednesday, attended by industry, academia and government guests from across Southeast Asia. The Center is located on the 8th floor of the Seng Kee Building at 20 Martin Road in Singapore’s Robertson Quay area.

    Stir the imagination

    Investing in Southeast Asia since 1998

    USDEC is a membership organization founded in 1995 by farmers through the dairy checkoff to pave the way for dairy processors interested in exporting.

    USDEC doesn’t sell products. Instead, it facilitates market access through regulatory affairs, creates a fairer competitive playing field by promoting sound trade policy and markets U.S. dairy products and ingredients with the help of 10 international offices. Since USDEC’s founding 25 years ago, the U.S. dairy industry has increased the value and volume of its exports fivefold.

    Growth in Southeast Asia didn’t happen overnight. USDEC has been active in developing the market since 1998.

    In recent years, that investment has paid off. Demand for U.S. dairy exports climbed $250 million from 2017 to 2019 as Southeast Asian customers appreciated the variety and versatility of U.S. cheeses and dairy ingredients, such as milk powders, dairy protein, lactose and permeate.

    Mexico has long been the No. 1  U.S. dairy export market. But over the first eight months of 2020, Southeast Asia overtook Mexico to become No. 1 by volume, driven by a surge in ingredients.

    To see a full version of the infographic shown below, click here to download a PDF.

    US Dairy Delivers in SE Asia

    Center taps growing market for U.S. milk

    Southeast Asia is important to U.S. dairy farmers because it provides a growing outlet for their milk. Today, the milk from 1 out of 7 tankers leaving American farms ends up in products and ingredients sold beyond our borders. About one day’s worth of monthly production of U.S. milk currently goes to Southeast Asia.

    Larry Hancock, a Texas dairy farmer and the Council’s Chairman, relayed farmers’ enthusiasm for the region and U.S. CDE.

    “Southeast Asia is a large area with many different cultures and countries, and likewise so is the United States of America,” said Hancock. He added that “we are united on caring for cow care and comfort, to environmental stewardship, and to the quality of the great, nutritious products we produce. We are united on exports and meeting the needs of local customers and consumers through the new U.S. CDE.”

    Programming starts Nov. 18

    Opening-day guests were shown the facility through a self-guided 360° virtual tour highlighting the Center’s key features, which includes a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, ISO standard-based sensory evaluation lab, meeting and training rooms and the latest video broadcasting capabilities showcasing how the U.S. CDE can further support customers and partners in Southeast Asia.


    A state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen at the new U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence in Singapore will allow USDEC food scientists to create foods using U.S. dairy ingredients to meet the taste preferences of Southeast Asian customers.

    While social distancing guidelines remain in place in Singapore, virtual programming from the U.S. CDE will commence on Nov. 18.

    Vikki Nicholson-West, executive director, USDEC Singapore Ltd, reflected on USDEC’s progress in Southeast Asia as a new milestone with the opening of the Center.

    “Southeast Asia’s dynamic and innovative food sector is a key reason we selected it for the first U.S. CDE, along with deep appreciation for relationships formed over two decades,” said Nicholson-West. “We hope the Center becomes a valuable resource that enables Southeast Asian customers, consumers and U.S. dairy suppliers to thrive together in the future food ecosystem.”  

    Mark O'Keefe is vice president of editorial services at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. 

    USDEC MEMBERS: Take a closer look and deeper dive into the Center with FAQs and lots more (login required).   

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.  

    Southeast Asia Dairy Ingredients ThinkUSADairy Singapore
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