The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • The world needs our milk on World Milk Day

    By Krysta Harden May 30, 2023

    On World Milk Day and every day, global dairy customers can count on the U.S. to consistently meet their needs now -- and as their demand increases. 

    World Milk Day blog post image1

    As we approach World Milk Day (June 1) and National Dairy Month (June), what can we say about the current and future state of U.S. dairy exports?

    The consensus outlook from the experts on exports at the U.S. Dairy Export Council is steadfast confidence for the long haul and cautious optimism for the rest of 2023.

    At our Spring USDEC Membership meeting, Tom Halverson, president and CEO of CoBank, a private provider of credit to rural America, shared long-term global population projections that bode well for exports. By 2050, the world will have two billion more mouths to feed. The big population increases will come from India, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

    “Most of those places don’t have the capacity to feed their own populations today, let alone the two billion more people that we are going to have,” Halverson told our members. He called it “a tremendous opportunity” for countries like the U.S. to export food.

    World Milk Day for LinkedIn (675 × 353px)

    Positioned for future success

    The U.S. is best positioned to grow milk production. Our big global competitors – the EU and New Zealand – will struggle to meet long-range global demand.

    Here in the U.S., we have an abundant, nutritious and sustainable milk supply. Moreover, our dairy farmers and processors have the technology and knowledge to ramp up production.

    Remember when exports were an afterthought? Today exports are the key to dairy expansion, outpacing domestic consumption growth in five of the last six years. Long-range export growth gives the children and grandchildren in dairy farm families motivation to continue the family business.

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    From crisis to opportunity

    USDEC members have turned global challenges into export opportunities. They overcame COVID and a global supply-chain crisis to achieve back-to-back-to-back years of record-setting U.S. dairy exports.

    The impact goes beyond the farm. Dairy has an economic ripple effect that supports more than 3 million American jobs, many in rural communities.

    The benefits go beyond our borders. I see dairy exports as a moral mandate to address global food insecurity.

    Facing 2023 headwinds

    Looking to the rest of this year, a panel of economists at our membership meeting cited headwinds that include a weaker price environment, uncertain Chinese demand and significant questions about the global economy.

    Unfortunately, free-trade agreements tilt the playing field toward our competitors. For example, New Zealand is China’s largest dairy supplier, taking advantage of 0% tariffs on many products, including milk powders.

    We might not shatter export records as we have for three consecutive years. Still, we remain cautiously optimistic for another year of growth.

    What we do for you at USDEC

    We help to make exports happen by laying the groundwork and opening the doors for our industry.

    We see USDEC as a “success accelerator” for our members, our farmers and the world. Our mission is to “enrich the well-being of people, communities and the planet.”

    Funded by farmers through the dairy checkoff, and managed by Dairy Management Inc., USDEC cultivates business for you. In 2022 alone, my staff traveled 2.6 million air miles—the equivalent of five round-trip visits to the moon—to build demand and facilitate trade flows.

    On World Milk Day and every day, my message to our global dairy customers is that they can count on the U.S. to consistently meet their needs now -- and as their demand increases. We are poised for continued long-term growth.

    Krysta Harden is president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

    Editor's note: This article first appeared in DairyBusiness News

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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.  

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