The state of the dairy industry is good. Sales are up in many categories, exports of dairy ingredients are booming, processors are developing new products, the industry is touting the inherent nutrition in milk and suppliers are addressing flavor, sweetening, color and sustainability issues.
That’s not to say the industry is without problems. Sales of fluid milk continue to decline. Government regulations of milk prices and standards of identity stifle innovation and add costs. Animal-welfare activists, if they can’t get dairy farmers to stop de-horning or tail docking, are turning their sights on processors to pressure them not to buy milk from those producers. The dairy processing establishment is gearing up to re-fight GMO labeling again. California residents defeated a referendum once already but the issue of mandatory labeling of the use of genetically modified organisms is returning and spreading to other states.