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  • USDEC spotlights U.S. Dairy's sustainability progress as IFT begins

    By USDEC July 13, 2020

    A study published in an academic journal shows the U.S. dairy industry used 30% less water, utilized 21% less land and reduced greenhouse gas emissions 19% over 10 years.

    The U.S. dairy industry has been a global leader in sustainability progress for years and is making a new commitment this year to achieving ambitious, specific and measurable goals by 2050.

    That is the message global food professionals get this week at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual expo, which normally attracts more than 20,000 in-person attendees but is being held virtually due to COVID-19.

    The expo officially kicks off today but the U.S. Dairy Export Council provided an appetizer on its sustainability messaging at a pre-IFT special access webinar held last Tuesday (July 7).

    The webinar featured Krysta Harden, Executive Vice President of Global Environmental Strategy for Dairy Management Inc. and Interim Chief Operating Officer at USDEC.

    CLIP: Krysta Harden highlighted U.S. Dairy sustainability progress in a USDEC webinar. 

    “We want to be the source of choice when you think about a partner who can not only help nourish people, but also the planet,” said Harden. “Collectively passing new and aggressive goals is just one way U.S. Dairy can prove we are a global leader in this area.”

    Harden and other USDEC leaders shed light on ambitious sustainability goals for 2050 and announced upcoming scientific sessions. The webinar also previewed technical and innovation resources for IFT attendees to learn how U.S. Dairy delivers on increasing consumer demand for global taste adventures, balanced nutrition and sustainable food production.

    Sustainability progress 

    Consumers and manufacturers alike might be surprised to learn that of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, the dairy industry — from feed production to post-consumer waste — currently contributes only 2%.

    Over a 10-year period from 2007 to 2017, U.S. dairy farmers used 30% less water, 21% less land and produced 19% fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce a gallon of milk, according to a study published this year in the Journal of Animal Science.

    Earth Day GHG Infographic

    USDEC has developed a short quiz to encourage people to test their sustainability knowledge and learn other fun facts.

    The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment

    New U.S. Dairy environmental stewardship goals were set this spring in the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, a voluntary pledge through which U.S. dairy companies demonstrate social responsibility progress. 

    Goals include becoming carbon neutral or better by 2050, optimizing water usage and improving water quality.

    The goals build on a decades-long commitment to producing nutritious dairy foods that can feed a growing global population in the most economically viable and socially responsible way.

    They align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically those focused on food security, human health and responsible stewardship of natural resources, including animals.

    Ingredients innovation

    “Innovation continues despite these challenging times and U.S. Dairy resources and expertise can support successful product development,” said Vikki Nicholson-West, Senior Vice President – Global Ingredient Marketing at USDEC. “We’re thrilled to have Krysta’s talents and sustainability focus on board as our new interim COO, guiding our extensive network of staff and representatives around the world.”

    USDEC’s virtual IFT presence this year serves as an opportunity to virtually travel and visually experience foods from around the world through a showcase of globally-inspired, fusion-style menu/product prototype concepts.

    From drinks to desserts, these examples capitalize on popular trends such as the popularity of Latin American influences.

    For example, high quality dairy ingredients such as Greek-style yogurt, whey protein, milk permeate, paneer cheese and butter round out a savory empanada that boasts 85g of protein. WPC 34 adds quality protein to a Piña Colada (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), providing extra refreshing permission for indulgence.

    Online scientific symposia

    Beyond seeing innovative product concepts at USDEC’s virtual IFT booth, a variety of dairy-related online scientific symposia navigate the evolving processing and nutritional landscape.

    Once again, sustainability will be part of the messaging, including the important role of sustainable food production and the challenge of providing valuable nutrition to the growing global population.

    These include:

    • Protein Processing 2.0— Next Gen Scalable Technologies for Advancing the Functionalization and Sustainable Production of Protein Ingredients. Learn more.
    • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – For a Safer, Better, and Sustainable Food.
    • Nutrient Profiling – From the Global Landscape to the Evidence Base.
    • Plant-based eating patterns vs. plant-based foods – Why distinguishing between the two is vital for industry, research, and consumers.

    "U.S. Dairy cares about people, we care about feeding people," said Harden. "We care about the planet. We care about communities. Achieving our goals the right way is a testament of that." 

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

    Learn more:

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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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