Today, the ever-changing dairy industry is more global than ever.

Today, the ever-changing dairy industry is more global than ever. It is critical that U.S. dairy companies and organizations be in touch with what’s happening in the dairy industry around the globe and be aware of the impact international events might have here at home. Furthermore, U.S. companies must have a voice at the decision-making level.

With these challenges in mind, the United States National Committee of the International Dairy Federation (US-IDF), one of the best kept secrets in the industry, provides communications, networking, problem-solving and a U.S. voice at the international level.

US-IDF, located in Verona, Wis., is the only national forum where representatives of the U.S. dairy industry can meet and discuss key dairy-related issues in a non-political venue, bringing together producers, processors, the Federal Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, universities, research centers and private companies.

US-IDF was admitted as an International Dairy Federation (IDF) member in 1982, at a time when the U.S. dairy industry did not play much of a role in international trade. However, US-IDF’s forefathers Harold Wainess and John Sliter, and others, recognized the value of establishing standards and guidelines that could and would impact the U.S. dairy industry’s ability to trade in the future. Today, our members play a major role in the work of IDF, whose membership includes 56 countries representing 86% of the world’s current milk production. 

Membership in US-IDF is mutually beneficial. For example, members learn about key developments in the global dairy sector while providing technical and scientific expertise to facilitate development of standards and guidelines relevant to the U.S. dairy sector. Likewise, members can stay abreast of worldwide dairy development, network globally and provide input at the international level.

Input on International Standards
IDF, based in Brussels, Belgium, has always been a key partner of many influential global organizations that have an influence and impact on the dairy sector, such as Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Health Organization, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Codex Alimentarius Commission (in particular the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products).

For instance, US-IDF has provided input and technical expertise to Codex Committee on Food Labeling  in relation to the country of origin labeling.

In cooperation with Global Dairy Platform, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative and others, IDF collaborated with the FAO to develop a standardized quantification model to calculate all greenhouse gas emissions of animal food chains ranging from feed production to retail sale, including the ability to segregate emissions by food sector. This model will provide a benchmark for the dairy industry, as it continues its initiatives toward sustainability.

The federation also leads efforts in protecting the nitrogen protein conversion factor for dairy versus soy used in the infant formula industry.

In addition, US-IDF hosts the annual IDF World Dairy Summit, which will take place Nov. 8-11 in Auckland, New Zealand.

These are just a few examples of the work US-IDF does on behalf of the U.S. dairy industry. Now the secret is out.