Atkins Nutritional Inc. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy this summer-another indication that the low-carb trend is fading. The movement never gained the kind of following overseas as it did here in the United States where it was born.

But the U.S. dairy industry has exported some good ideas over the years. The U.K. now has a successful generic marketing program, for instance. Great ideas and great products flow both ways across the oceans. That's just one reason why I am so pleased to introduce Dairy Foods' second annual international issue. It's our contribution to giving you a better perspective on the world's dairy industries, and how they relate to ours in North America.

The timing is great in that right now and in the coming weeks, many participants in the world's dairy industries are visiting our shores. This month the American Dairy Products Institute and the European Whey Products Assn. host the Fourth International Whey Conference in Chicago. It brings together food manufacturers from around the world who are interested in dairy's hottest ingredient product. Later this month, global dairy professionals will gather in Vancouver, British Columbia for Dairy Summit 2005. This event, put together each year by the International Dairy Federation, looks at issues related to agriculture, food manufacturing, world trade and regulations. In October our own International Dairy Foods Assn. hosts the dairy portion of Worldwide Food Expo, one of the world's largest food industry trade shows.

The format for this year's international issue is similar to the 2004 debut. We have new products and product development trends from around the globe. There's industry news from Europe, and Oceana, and emerging markets like China and Russia. This year we take readers to Finland to visit a yogurt plant belonging to Valio Ltd, one of the world's most innovative dairy cooperatives. The U.S. Dairy Council offers insights on the export market, and thanks to the International Dairy Federation, we have showcased two different geographical perspectives on the World Trade Organization's trade reform efforts.

We hope you find this issue interesting and useful.

One separate note-I was thrilled to see that beginning this fall Dannon USA will shed the plastic overlids on its 6-oz cups. The company estimates that the effort will keep 3.6 million lbs of plastic a year from potentially entering the waste stream. Sister company Stonyfield Farm did the same thing a couple years ago, and parent Danone has an environmental policy that has as one of its goals the reduction of environmental impact from packaging.