Let’s talk business. These are some imperatives today (in no particular order of importance):

• Stay up-to-date with new technologies

• Be in the right channels of distribution

• Offer new products and line extensions

• Be customer-focused

• Participate in the global marketplace

I have no doubt you have executives thinking about all of these points. But I am not referring to dairy processing. Rather, I have publishing on my mind.

As you turn the pages of this issue, you’ll notice a new graphic approach to the layouts and a new organization to how we present the articles. Art director Lindsay Leusby freshened the look and feel of Dairy Foods. She gives the magazine a distinct front-middle-back flow. This redesign is one of many activities we have undertaken in recent months. I’ll touch on the others later, but first let me walk you through the magazine, starting with the cover.

As we’ve done all along, we show a dairy food on the front page, but now we have added a photo of an executive, in this case Don Boelens of Swiss Valley Farms. We have always profiled dairy companies. With the redesign, we also will show an executive on the cover.


Improved organization

We added a second page to the table of contents (see pages 5 and 7). This gives us a better opportunity to call attention to the issue’s feature articles. On the second page (page 7), you will be able to find topics easier (news, columnists, ingredients and operations). Also on this page, we direct you to our website for exclusive content. This month, guest blogger Julie Buric of MilkPEP lays out the organization’s chocolate milk strategy. In the online Case Studies section, you can read an account of how Commonwealth Dairy approaches food safety.

The front and the back of the magazine have been organized into distinct sections. Newsline (beginning on page 12) incorporates a mini table of contents to help you navigate through the section. Operations (page 95) is the title of a new section that reports on packaging, processing, food safety, equipment and other topics relevant to the processing of dairy foods. We have always written about these subjects; now they are organized into a discrete section.

An old friend, New Product Review, has a new name – “Eat. Drink. Dairy” – which also reflects our editorial mission: supporting the production and consumption of dairy foods. I invite you to submit your new products for this section (see email address below).

In between Newsline and Operations, you’ll find our features. We have a beautiful line-up this month, starting with “As the World Churns,” a look at four ice cream processors. One company is a start-up business; another is nearing its 100th year in operation. We also profile two makers of ice cream novelties. Following this feature is a round-table discussion of coffee and tea and how to use these ingredients in dairy foods.

Then we begin 20-plus pages of cheese coverage. I met with Swiss Valley Farms CEO Don Boelens and his executive team and toured the co-op’s cheese and whey facility in Iowa. Boelens shares how he re-organized the dairy co-op into a more nimble, responsive processor. These articles are beautifully illustrated with photos by Marta Garcia.

Starting on page 66, 13 cheesemakers spill the beans on everything from their first jobs to their idols to their favorite cheese-related jokes. What cheese is made backwards? Katie Hedrich has the answer. Capping off the cheese coverage is a preview of the International Cheese Technology Expo, which begins April 10.


Website, webinars and more

This freshening up of the magazine follows a redesign of our website, dairyfoods.com. The site is better organized, updated more frequently and contains exclusive content. At the top of the page I mentioned channels of distribution. Besides the print edition and website, Dairy Foodsshares information via our 4,300-plus-member LinkedIn group (please join the Dairy Foods Magazine Professional Network), Twitter feeds, Facebook page, webinars and newsletter. These activities extend our reach to the entire world of professionals seeking information about dairy foods and dairy processing.

I encourage you to contribute to Dairy Foodsand its many electronic extensions. Dairy processors can submit photos of their new products, write guest essays and participate in feature articles. (Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams contributed “Butterfat Is Sexy” on page 122.) Equipment and ingredient suppliers can submit news and participate in our roundtable discussions. We have a big tent. I invite you inside.  n