In With The New

Associations welcome 2006 officers and board members.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and its three constituent organizations — the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) — elected new officers and inducted new board members at their annual business meetings in Chicago last October. The meetings were held in conjunction with Worldwide Food Expo 2005.
Leading each association for 2006 are IDFA chair and IICA chair Jim Green, president and chief executive officer, Kemps LLC; IDFA vice chair and NCI chair Mike Reidy, senior vice president of procurement, logistics and business development, Leprino Foods Co.; and IDFA secretary/treasurer and MIF chair Miriam Erickson Brown, president and chief operating officer, Anderson Erickson Dairy Co.
“With such a distinguished team of leaders in place, the associations are gearing up for an exciting, productive year on many fronts,” says Connie Tipton,  IDFA president and chief executive officer. “We appreciate the commitment that these volunteer officers and directors are making to advance the entire dairy industry.”
The following are 2006 officers for IDFA’s constituent groups:
MIF — Brown, chair; Brian Haugh, president and COO, National Dairy Holdings LP, vice chair; Mike Krueger, senior vice president/general manager, Dairy Division, Shamrock Foods Co., secretary; and Jay Jaskiewicz, director of dairy manufacturing, Publix Super Markets Inc., treasurer.
NCI — Reidy, chair; Kevin Ponticelli, executive vice president and president, Cheese and Dairy, Kraft Foods N.A. Inc., vice chair; Gary Vanic, president and CEO, Great Lakes Cheese Co. Inc., secretary; and Mark Leddy, co-CEO, Valley Queen Cheese Factory Inc., treasurer.
IICA — Green, chair; Tim Kahn, COO, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Inc., vice chair; Doug Wells, COO, Wells’ Dairy Inc., secretary; and Brian Perry, executive vice president/vice chairman, Perry’s Ice Cream Co. Inc., treasurer.
For a complete list of new and re-elected board members, visit www.idfa.org.

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Product and promotion news
Fiscalini Farms, in the San Joaquin Valley near Modesto, has been instrumental in the formation of an organization representing California’s artisan, farmstead and specialty cheese producers. John Fiscalini, a fourth generation owner/operator who established Fiscalini Cheese Co. in 2000 with his wife, Heather, is one of 12 founding members. Committed to the support and encouragement of the state’s cheesemaking community, educating both cheesemakers and consumers, sharing resources and dedicated to the art of crafting quality cheeses, the California Artisan Cheese Guild welcomes “friends” as well as producers for very modest membership fees. Its Web site, www.cacheeseguild.org, offers broad-ranging information including a list of farms and production facilities that accept visitors, a calendar of events and tastings, guidance on purchasing direct or through distributors. Gallo of Sonoma, Barbara Reed of the University of California-Davis and the Clark Wolf Co. have all contributed generously to the development process. The group plans to convert to not-for-profit trade status within one year. “We have for some time recognized the need for this type of organization,” John Fiscalini says. “Many Americans still do not realize that California is the country’s largest dairying state, and that the quality of our cheeses rivals or exceeds that of leading European imports. We’re confident that the Guild’s activities will, over time, change that perception. And we look forward to working together in forging a stronger image for the state’s dairying industry.”
Sargento cheese has a new look! The 52-year-old cheese company has long been a leader in innovations in shredding, slicing and packaging, and now it is at the forefront of creating new visual appeal in the cheese case. New Sargento packages — a uniform burgundy color scheme with scenic illustrations — are the result of a two-year research initiative to more deeply communicate brand identity. The Plymouth, Wis.-based company says the new color helps the package stand out at retail, making it easier for consumers to shop. Responding to consumer research that aided in the selection and refinement of the design system, the packaging also contains a larger window that helps showcase the all-natural cheese inside. The Sargento tagline, “Our Family’s Passion is Cheese,” was positioned on the front of the package to reinforce the Sargento family heritage, a factor also favored by consumers. “Our consumers enjoy cooking and like to spend time in the kitchen,” says Brad Flatoff, senior vice president of marketing at Sargento. “They told us that our new packaging resonated more with their emotional connection to cooking for their friends and family.” The package makeover affects all Sargento product lines, including its popular new Bistro™ Blends, another reflection of the company’s commitment to connect with its consumers.
T&F Dairy, Wendell, Idaho, operated by partners John Toledo and Zeke Ferreira, were awarded Glanbia’s highest honor, 2005 Quality Patron of the Year, at Glanbia’s annual December awards banquet. As winners, they received two all-expense paid tickets to Ireland, home country of Glanbia plc, parent company of Idaho-based Glanbia Foods Inc. This annual award rotates between small, medium and large dairies each year. “This award really means a lot to us,” says Zeke Ferreira. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep up with the high quality of milk standards Glanbia requires. While we’ve been recognized by Glanbia over the past six years for our quality milk, this year we won the big prize. We are looking forward to our Ireland trip.” In order to be recognized for this award, Glanbia’s milk suppliers must meet strict quality standards over 12 months, paying close attention to all facets of dairy operations. “We are recognized nationally for our quality cheese products,” says Russ De Kruyf, milk procurement manager at Glanbia. “And you can’t produce high-quality cheese without high-quality milk. This annual Quality Awards banquet is our way to thank and acknowledge the many milk producers in southern Idaho who provide us with superior milk.