Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new this week in products, companies and marketing. In this issue: International Dairy Show, International Whey Conference, Anuga,Associated Milk Producers Inc., Chobani, Dean Foods, U.S. Dairy Export Council and more.

Welcome to Jim Carper's Dairy Case, a look at the new dairy products, companies and marketing efforts making the news.

Dairy Processors Say National Milk's Revised Plan Is Still Bad For Business
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) put out a press release this week saying  that the proposed changes to the Foundation for the Future plan put forth by the National Milk Producers Federation continue to include unacceptable policy reforms.
The National Milk proposal "continues a complex, government milk pricing system that will force even higher prices on fluid milk and penalizes producers who want insurance with mandatory supply controls," said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of IDFA.
IDFA opposes milk pricing regulations that would increase the already significant regulatory burden on processors, put more pressure on declining milk sales, and increase costs for consumers, as well as many government nutrition and feeding programs that are already stretched to serve Americans who are struggling to feed their families.
In addition, this new proposal would change the process for revising the out-of-date Federal Milk Marketing Order system by effectively giving dairy farmer cooperatives the power to veto rules that the Secretary of Agriculture would develop in the public interest. This is a "heads, consumers lose, or tails, consumers lose" process that would inflate milk prices. By contrast, processors would not be given any vote or say in the adoption of regulations that directly impact their businesses.
National Milk's revised plan requires producers to limit supply if they want to participate in an insurance program. IDFA believes producers need risk management tools without more government mandates.

International Conference Draws Large Numbers To "The Power of Whey"    
The benefits of whey was the focus of the world's top dairy researchers and processors at this week's 6th International Whey Conference in Chicago. More than 425 attendees from 25 countries attended this event.
Demonstration Stations allowed end users to experience "the Power of Whey" through live demonstrations of the applications and functional properties of whey, whey components and whey by-products. IWC 2011 was co-hosted by the American Dairy Products Institute and the European Whey Products Association.

U.S. Companies To Get a Whiff of Anuga in Cologne
More than 150 U.S. companies will participate in this event. U.S. companies will be easy to spot in five product-specific USA Pavilions at Anuga, the food and beverage industry show held Oct. 8-12 in Cologne, Germany. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Koelnmesse (the show organizer) has organized the USA Pavilions into sections:  Fine Food, Meat, Frozen Food, Organic and Drinks.

Dairy Products Prices Highlights
Butter pricesreceived for 25 kilogram and 68 pound boxes meeting United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grade AA standards averaged $1.94 per pound for the week ending September 17, 2011. The United States (US) price per pound decreased 9.6 cents from the previous week.
Cheddar Cheese prices received for US 40 pound blocks averaged $1.82 per pound for the week ending September 17, 2011. The price per pound decreased 5.9 cents from the previous week. The price for US 500 pound barrels adjusted to 38 percent moisture averaged $1.78 per pound, down 2.2 cents from the previous week.
Dry Whey pricesreceived for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade standards averaged 59.1 cents per pound for the week ending September 17, 2011. The US price per pound increased 0.2 cent from the previous week.
Nonfat Dry Milk pricesreceived for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade or United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Grade A standards averaged $1.54 per pound for the week ending September 17, 2011. The US price per pound decreased 2.1 cents from the previous week.
All reports are available electronicallyon the NASS web site: http://www.nass.usda.gov

USDEC Mission Heads for South Korea
Rising demand, a pending trade agreement and a shortage of domestic milk have put South Korea neck-and-neck with Mexico as the top export market for U.S.-made cheese. The broad interest in the market is reflected in the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s (USDEC’s) largest-ever trade mission, for which nearly three dozen members will visit the country Sept. 26-29. USDEC trade missions, which are supported by U.S. dairy farmers through their checkoff program, help bring buyers and sellers together to facilitate sales of U.S. dairy products on behalf of U.S. dairy producers and the industry.
“Global trade requires building relationships face-to-face,” says Les Hardesty, a dairy producer from Greeley, Colo., chairman of USDEC and a board member of Dairy Management Inc. “This visit will provide an ideal setting for U.S. suppliers to make valuable contacts, and for the Korea trade to learn more about U.S. capabilities. For dairy producers, this is a means to building demand for a growing U.S. milk supply.”
The mission was planned last year in anticipation of Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). It was hoped the FTA would be in place before the trip, and while ratification has not yet occurred, import demand has escalated, in part due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease last winter. Local milk supplies are down 10 to 12 percent, and analysts say it could take up to two years for supply to recover.
U.S. dairy export value to South Korea doubled to $130 million from 2006 to 2010, according to USDA data. This year, the United States has been the leading cheese supplier to Korea (with 44-percent market share), beating out supply from Oceania and Europe. Korea also is a consistent buyer of U.S. lactose and a top-10 market for U.S. whey proteins and butterfat.

IDFA Honors Innovators
The International Dairy Foods Association announced the winners of the first annual Innovations Awards today at the International Dairy Show in Atlanta. The six winners are:
- ATMIC-FF Fischer Planningreceived the Food Safety Innovation Award for its Ultra-Clean Extended Shelf Life line, which allows for manufacturing products without added preservatives.
- TIC Gums, Inc. earned the Ingredients/Flavorings/Seasonings/Additives
Innovation Award for Dairyblend SC-ASC, a 100-percent hydrocolloid blend combining natural emulsifiers with traditional thickeners and gelling agents to deliver high-quality, stable products across the sour cream category.
- Stonyfield received the Packaging Innovation Award for its plant-based polylactic acid (PLA) form/fill/seal plastic multi-pack yogurt cup, representing a first in the dairy industry.
- Junction Solutionsearned the Processing Innovation Award for its Genetic Optimizer, a production-scheduling application that provides manufacturers with a fast, flexible planning solution that's easily implemented without third-party software or complex integration.
- Ecolab, Inc. received the Innovative Sustainability Award for Envirocid Plus, an innovative new acid that helps dairy processing plants manage their effluent and their operating costs, while improving their sustainability profile.
- Upstate Niagarareceived the Attendee Choice Award for Crave, a nutrient-rich chocolate milk that comes in a cool, re-sealable aluminum bottle to chill fast and keep the milk cold for longer periods of time.


Chobani Pledges $1 Million to Famine Relief Efforts in Somalia
The Shepherd's Gift Foundation, the charitable arm of Chobani, is pledging $1 million to the Global Enrichment Foundation to support their famine relief efforts in Somalia.  The United Nations has described the famine in Somalia as the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, with an estimated four million Somalis – over half of the country's population – in need of aid.   Chobani's $1 million pledge will provide at least another 250,000 people with food aid. For more information visit www.facebook.com/chobani or www.globalenrichmentfoundation.com

Processors Recognized for Safety Efforts
At the International Dairy Show this week in Atlanta, the International Dairy Foods Association announced the names of 144 dairy company operations to receive IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards and Achievement Certificates this year. This is the eighth year that IDFA has sponsored the program, which highlights the outstanding worker-safety records of U.S. dairy companies. The operations for each nominated company were judged solely on specific data required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the facility's "Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses" report. This year's award decisions were based on data from OSHA reports for the 2010 calendar year.
Processing facilities were judged in four product categories: natural and processed cheese; dry, condensed and evaporated products; ice cream and frozen desserts; and fluid milk. Within each product category, IDFA accepted nominations for small, medium and large facilities that achieved the best overall safety performance rates based on the OSHA data.
The 2011 winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of Dairy Foods. Among them are:Agropur Cooperative, BGC Grocery Co., Cabot/McCadam/Agri-Mark, DairiConcepts, Dairy Farmers of America, Foremost Farms USA, The Dannon Co.,  Dean Foods Co., Kemps, HP Hood, Hunter Farms/Harris Teeter, The Kroger Co., Nestle USA,  Safeway Inc., Saputo Cheese USA, and Wells Enterprises.

Dean Foods Honored for Green Efforts
Dean Foods said this week that it was commended by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for the company's disclosure of climate change information. This is the fourth year Dean Foods has reported information to the CDP and the third consecutive year the company has been featured in the CDP's Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. Dean Foods is one of only nine Consumer Staples companies included in the CDP's annual leadership index. The CDP represents 551 institutional investors with $71 trillion in assets under management.
The CDP's Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index is a key component of CDP's annual S&P 500 report and highlights the companies within the S&P 500 Index that have displayed the most professional approach to corporate governance regarding climate change information disclosure practices. Companies are scored on their climate change disclosure and high scores indicate good internal data management and understanding of climate change related issues affecting the company.


Chobani Hits The Road
On Friday, Chobani Champions,  a Greek yogurt brand for children, celebrated “champions” across the country with the launch of an interactive consumer campaign inspired by Chobani’s “Nothing But Good” philosophy.
A bus will stop along the East Coast, starting with the Life is Good Festival in Canton, Mass. In addition to sampling, these local market events will allow consumers to interact with the bus through augmented reality and mobile technology, including a “photo booth.” The brand has also partnered with KaBOOM! to give Imagination Playground in a Box sets to three cities along the way.
Beginning in October, collectable ChampTag medals will appear under the lid of individual Chobani Champions’ yogurt. Each specially designed ChampTag medal contains a unique code that brings the image to life in 3-D when viewed using the ChampVision mobile application. In addition, users have the opportunity to complete challenges to win additional trophies upon unlocking the ChampTag, For more information and to engage with the brand online, please visit the Champions Website, www.ChobaniChampions.com, as well as Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Chobani and Twitter www.twitter.com/Chobani.

Cheese Gets in The Game
To help spice up the dinner routine, Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise launched a cooking challenge intended to help home chefs diversify their weekly recipe repertoire.  Each week on Hellmanns.com, two chicken dish "challenger" recipes from Chipotle Lime Crusted Chicken to Baked Buffalo Chicken and more will go up against one of the most popular recipes on Hellmanns.com, Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Consumers will vote to determine their favorite chicken recipes of the week.
This week celebrity dad and actor Mark Consuelos backs his favorite Parmesan Crusted Chicken against two challengers. Chef Tim Love's Chipotle-Lime-Crusted Chicken and Lifestyle Expert Sissy Biggers' BBQ-Cheddar-Crusted Chicken. The challenge continues through Dec. 5. Consumers can enter into a weekly sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four $250 grocery gift cards. See Hellmanns.com for details.


IDFA Elects a New Board
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and its three constituent organizations - the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) - elected new officers and voted on new board members. Leading each association for the next year will be:
Chair Mike Nosewicz,vice president, dairy group - east manufacturing division - dairy, The Kroger Co.
Vice Chair and IICA Chair Brian Perry,executive vice president/vice chairman, Perry's Ice Cream Company, Inc.
Secretary and NCI Chair Jon Davis,COO, Le Sueur Cheese Co., Inc.
Treasurer and MIF Chair Ed Mullins,executive vice president & CEO, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.


AMPI earns three first-place awards in World Dairy Expo contest

Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) tallied three wins in the 2011 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Products Contest. The dairy farmer-owned company’s Cheddar, Colby Jack and American cheese entries each earned the highest marks in their respective categories. The AMPI entries were judged among the best from a record field of 705 entries representing all types of dairy products made by companies from across the United States.

Topping its class in the highly competitive Cheddar division was AMPI’s entry produced in Blair, Wis. The cheese recorded a score of 99.6 out of a possible 100 points. 

Colby Jack produced in Dawson, Minn., and White American Pasteurized Process Cheese made in Portage, Wis., also received the highest scores in their categories to earn first-place honors.

An auction recognizing the contest’s winners is set for Oct. 4 as a part of the 2011 World Dairy Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. A portion of the auction’s proceeds support a scholarship for a deserving student pursuing a career in the dairy industry.

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