Over 175 dairy producers, processors and allied industry representatives gathered in South Lake Tahoe last month to attend the 118th California Creamery Operators Association annual meeting to discuss the future course of the California Dairy Industry.

Experts from academia and industry shared new information that can help California’s Dairy industry chart a new strategic course. Phil Plourd, president of Blimling Associates, described how changing inventories of preserved milk globally, increased milk production in other dairying regions around the world and changing demand for dairy foods in different regions of the United States and around the world will influence how California can compete in the global marketplace and the state’s dairy product production mix.

Mark Stephensen, professor of agricultural economics, Univ. of Wisconsin, indicated that whether California adopts a Federal Milk Marketing Order could influence California dairy industry shipments across the United States.

Use automation in dairy processing

Proactively educating the consuming public about fair and equal measures of the industry’s sustainability compared to other foods and lifestyle choices could help to correct misinformation maligning California dairy industry practices record on sustainability, said UC. Davis Professor of Animal Science Dr. Frank Mitloehner.

At the meeting Tetra Pak representatives, R.J. Twiford and T. Hutchinson, stated that the dairy industry plant of the future could increasingly take advantage of better process automation/control, membrane separation processes and improved packaging and process technologies.

Dairy industry must listen to consumers’  beliefs and perceptions

John Talbot, CEO of California Milk Advisory Board, was optimistic about California developing a greater role in dairy exports internationally, and he also encouraged greater product innovation to address changing consumer food preferences and shopping approaches. Additionally Marcus Benedetti, CEO of Clover Sonoma Dairy, reiterated the need for the dairy industry to better align their products with changing consumer beliefs/perceptions that may not always reflect conventional thinking.

Allied industry exhibits showcased latest products and services available for California dairy producers and processors. General session and exhibits were followed by networking opportunities (golf tournament, reception, luncheon, cruise on Lake Tahoe, awards dinner) whereby attendees could exchange ideas and develop valuable business contacts.

California will remain a major producer of milk and dairy products for the foreseeable future; expanding markets through product innovation and meeting export market demand will likely continue to be a part of this golden state’s dairy industry.

“CCOA will continue to do what it can to bring producers and processors together and help facilitate development of California’s dairy industry through its annual meeting and other related activities,” said its Executive Director Phil Tong.

The 2018 California Creamery Operators Association will meet in South Lake Tahoe, June 24 to 26, 2018.

-- Submitted by the California Creamery Operators Association

The California Creamery Operators Association was established to promote and develop the dairy industry of California. Initially formed in 1900, CCOA is one of the most long-standing dairy industry associations in the United States. It is also unique in California as one of the few organizations that brings dairy producers, dairy processors, academia and allied industry members together to share information and discuss key issues important to the entire dairy industry. For further information about CCOA and how you can be more involved in its annual meeting and other activities, visit the website at www.cccoadairy.org.