After editing the articles in this edition, I came away impressed and awed by the myriad issues a dairy processing company deals with.

Dairy foods get their fair share of attention from the Food and Drug Administration. So obviously food safety is important. Turn to page 64 for our series of articles on the subject, beginning with “The case for environmental pathogen sampling” by researchers from Cornell University. Then seriously consider attending the Food Safety Summit, which is organized by BNP Media (the publisher of Dairy Foods). See page 74 for information.

Dairy processors have to have new products in order to stay relevant with customers and consumers. In “Maine’s Mighty Oakhurst” (page 38), company executives talk about their new Chocolate Egg Nog and fat-free half & half. Perry’s Ice Cream (page 15) won awards for two new flavors: Tropical Neapolitan (a combination of mango, coconut and pineapple) and Movie Time (popcorn-flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffle).

Manufacturers of Greek and conventional yogurt have their hands full; they increased production by more than 4% last year. Not only are consumers clamoring for yogurt, but so are other food processors who want the cultured dairy food for breakfast cereals, dips and other foods. Read more on page 54.

Then you (and your industry associations) have to defend your activities from consumer and political activists who fight you on labeling, ingredients, formulations and availability. By my count, you have about 30 hours of issues to deal with in a 24-hour day. Keep the faith.