On Oct. 23, the representatives of the organizations of milk producers and the dairy processors of Mexico, including Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos Lecheros, Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, Gremio de Productores Lecheros de la Republica Mexicana, and Cámara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche, and the representatives of the organizations of milk producers of the United States, including National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council, issued the following statement on their fourth annual meeting:
“The dairy industries of Mexico and the United States are proud to be among the world’s leading providers of wholesome and nutritious dairy products. We help feed communities around the globe while driving economic growth and bringing myriad positive benefits to each of our respective nations.
“We salute the hard work of the dairy farmers and processors in both Mexico and the United States who produce superior dairy products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Dairy consumption continues to grow, and our industries are continually modernizing in order to more efficiently meet the growing consumer demand for the high-quality products we produce. We also recognize the importance of ensuring that our industries continue to support small and medium size dairy operations as they work to sustain their livelihood and increase productivity.
“Mexico and the United States produce a wide range of healthy, safe and delicious dairy products for the enjoyment of consumers. However, negative marketing activities and the proliferation of false, unscientific information regarding the properties of milk and milk products are impacting some consumer preferences.
“We express concern over the new proposal mandating front-of-packaging nutrition labeling in Mexico, and urge the Mexican government to ensure that it NOT affect the positive image of milk and dairy products.
“Also, the ratification of the USMCA – TMEC by the United States Congress is vital to strengthen the promising future of the milk and dairy sectors of Mexico and the United States, by bringing certainty to our trade relationships and creating new opportunities to increase dairy trade in the region.
“Finally, the industries support a strong strategic collaboration to work on a number of issues of interest to both the Mexican dairy sector as well the U.S. dairy sector.
“On this fourth annual meeting within the framework of the partnership to strengthen the productive sector for milk in North America, held in Torreón, Mexico, the dairy industries of Mexico and the Unites States hereby agree to:
- Preserve, facilitate and enhance trade between the two nations, as well as promote the elimination of trade barriers of any kind in the dairy sector.
- Have as a key objective the expansion of dairy consumption in both countries to the benefit of producers, manufacturers and primarily consumers in the United States and Mexico, by promoting joint activities that help increase the consumption of our dairy products within our region.
- Identify and promote actions that improve the productivity of dairy farms in Mexico and the United States, understanding the additional needs of small producers in Mexico in particular, while strengthening cooperation in the area of technological exchange and training, to drive improvements in milk production and nutrition.
- Defend the reputation and image of milk and dairy products in both countries by strongly rejecting the improper usage of milk and milk product names by products of nondairy origin, such as plant-based products.
- [Create] a Binational Commission to defend the image of dairy as well as to work on issues of sustainability, animal care and food safety, and find avenues to promote and increase consumption of dairy products.
- Urge the Mexican authorities to consider in the public consultation the arguments of the national and international dairy sector, so that milk and dairy products that contain milk as their main ingredient are not affected by the establishment of warning seals on their labels, in recognition of the enormous nutritional benefits of dairy products, the important role they play in a healthy and balanced diet and the consideration of vulnerable groups in society.
- Express the need for stabilization in our markets in recognition of the economic, social and political importance and certainty that this agreement offers to our industries.
- Continue activities in defense of common food names, in particular cheese names, allowing their free use in our North American market respecting the USMCA agreement on intellectual property.
- Urge the governments involved in the negotiation of USMCA – TMEC to expeditiously implement this modernized trade agreement in order to secure its framework for a strong and united dairy industry for the benefit of our geographical zone and its consumers.
- Understand the importance of sustainability as an integral part of the growth in dairy demand and pledge to continue working on common efforts to improve dairy farm productivity while continuing to protect our natural resources.
- Recognize that Animal Welfare has become a critical part of supply demand to consumers in both countries. The U.S. dairy industry will share developments related to the National Dairy FARM Program to the benefit of dairy farmers in Mexico with the objective of achieving continuous improvement in the health and welfare of their livestock.
- Ratify the cooperation between our industries in the participation of dairy sector events held in our countries, and specifically in those events aimed to enhance the health benefits that our products offer to consumers.”