It has been an eventful year at the American Dairy Products Institute. Since I came on board in March 2012, we have developed and approved a new vision, mission and three-year strategic plan; created new membership classifications; and are in the finishing stages of rebranding the association with a new logo and website which will be introduced to our membership at our upcoming annual meeting, April 28 to 30.

It is an exciting time to be a member of a re-vitalized ADPI – and our membership growth attests to that fact. We have a singular focus: increasing the worldwide use of dairy-based ingredients. Our members manufacture and market the majority of the milk-based and whey-based dairy ingredients produced in the United States. These products are in high demand across the world, as consumers recognize the benefit of dairy components in their diet. It is one of the most dynamic sectors of the dairy industry today. Our annual census shows dairy ingredient sales continue to post strong year-on-year growth.


A mission to be the authority

Our new vision at ADPI is to be the world’s premier authority on dairy ingredients. Our mission statement explains how we’ll do that: by marshaling the technical, manufacturing and marketing resources of our members. We don’t have a huge staff of highly paid “experts” at the beck and call of our members. It is not a top-down organizational structure. The strength of ADPI is our members themselves. Through our committees and task force structure, we have members giving of their time to collaboratively resolve industry issues.

Something else that is unique about ADPI is that it doesn’t get bogged down in politics. Our membership and board of directors equally represent dairy cooperatives, proprietary manufacturers and trading companies. They ignore the argumentative issues that too often pit dairy farmers against dairy processors and just focus on what’s important for our industry — selling more dairy products!

As we began this process to transform ADPI into the most effective and relevant association representing the dairy ingredient industry, we decided it was time to either lead or get out of the way. Clearly, the “new and improved” ADPI is committed to leading dairy’s future, particularly in the ingredient sector.

Our new core values also speak to this commitment: “At ADPI, we deliver results by being responsive to our member’s needs; providing reliable, meaningful and useful information; cultivating a learning atmosphere and always seeking to be relevant while focusing on dairy ingredient products, not politics; being respectful of the contribution of others and seeking to work cooperatively and collaboratively for the mutual benefit of all; and creating excellent opportunities for our members to network and build relationships.”


Annual meeting in Chicago

We have long been known for our annual meeting (“where the dairy industry does business”) in downtown Chicago each April. It is a meeting that is unique in the dairy industry. More than 750 attendees gather for a “can’t-miss” opportunity to meet customers, suppliers and colleagues as well as to learn about the key issues of the day. This year, along with our co-host, the American Butter Institute, we will be kicking off the meeting on Sunday evening with a keynote speaker and a welcome reception.

A key pillar of ADPI’s strategic plan is training and education. In addition to our annual meeting, ADPI hosts seminars and symposia targeted to meet our member’s need for up-to-date information on technical and marketing developments in the ingredient sector. We partner with the European Whey Products Association in hosting the International Whey Conference which convenes every three years, alternating between the United States and Europe. The next IWC will be held in the Netherlands in September of 2014. This premier event brings together the best and brightest minds in the industry to discuss the exploding opportunities for whey-based ingredients.

Now in its 88th year, ADPI has been recognized by its current name since 1986, following a merger of the American Dry Milk Institute and the Whey Products Institute and joined a year later by the Evaporated Milk Association. The origins of the association date back to 1925 when 18 dry milk manufacturing firms got together to form ADMI, making it one of the nation’s oldest dairy trade associations.

A central component of ADPI’s historical role in the dairy industry is also core to our strategy going forward: providing leadership in the development of dairy ingredient standards and specifications. Currently, ADPI member task forces are tackling the development of new standards for dry permeate and milk protein concentrates as well as updating existing ADPI standards for dry milk and whey products.

The final strategic initiative that we are introducing this year is the ADPI “Center of Excellence.” This will be a pool of professional dairy industry resources with expertise across a wide range of disciplines that will be available to support our members when needed, helping us achieve our vision of becoming “the world’s premier authority on dairy ingredients.” We are looking forward to another eventful year and appreciate the industry’s support.  


Dairy Foods seeks essays from dairy processors. Contact