U.S. Trade Rep, Katherine Tai just released her first National Trade Estimate report. Dairy groups are urging her to help lift barriers that restrict their product. The industry notes it has been making progress with China.
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U.S. Dairy Export Council’s President and CEO Krysta Harden says that the answer might be in the milk.

According to Harden, “It really has been about our ingredients; that’s where we are advancing and accelerating in a number of key areas here… certainly talking about product nutrition and education, the innovation, the ideas of what consumers want, and how we can meet them in the marketplace, and I mentioned sustainability about producing our products in a lasting way, making sure it’s also good for the planet.”

Though the trade war took a toll on the dairy industry, exports to China are recovering.

“China is a very, very key market for U.S. dairy; number three… but the tariffs took a toll,” she states. “There is absolutely no doubt, so we should look at the numbers and the recovery; you can see that we are making progress and things are coming back.”

The Dairy Export Council has even formed partnerships to find out what Chinese consumers want.

“Their demand for health and well-being products– that’s a growing area. We know that we can help meet that,” she adds. “I’ve been working with the Chinese Insitute of Food Science and Technology, working on different prototypes, and different products that might meet that growing demand.”

They have also established a partnership with a Chinese university to continue building on those relationships.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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