There is a new level of commitment and engagement across the dairy industry as milk processors and brands, farmers and marketing organizations are united and inspired by today’s challenging environment. We are all dedicated to working together to understand, tackle and reverse milk’s consumption decline.

As the newly appointed CEO of The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), I’m excited to be a part of this movement and eager to share my vision for MilkPEP’s future and our fluid milk marketing program.

Turning around a category as large as milk is no simple task. The solution is a focused strategy with programs that have both immediate and long-term impact. I believe we’ve set the right course, with the right strategic roadmap in place that we now need to follow, measure success and optimize over time.

Out-of-the-box thinking, unparalleled marketing programs and a commitment to shake things up, take risks and be bold are critical to milk’s success.

Beyond driving increased milk consumption, MilkPEP is aggressively pursuing three supporting goals to help us move milk in the right direction. We will:

  1. Reinforce American consumers’ beliefs in and relationships with milk.
  2. Create flexible and accessible programming that helps milk processors build value for their brands.
  3. Nurture long-term partnerships across milk industry groups to maximize overall impact.

MilkPEP can’t reverse the consumption declines alone. For that reason, working with other like-minded organizations will be a critical part of MilkPEP’s DNA moving forward. In fact, MilkPEP and Dairy Management Inc. have joined together to identify common goals, collaborate closely on program efforts and forge partnerships (where appropriate) across milk processors, dairy farmers and other relevant groups. We’ve seen promising results from this alliance that will continue to pay dividends in the future.

Over the past several months, MilkPEP has launched three groundbreaking programs. In February, we introduced Milk Life, which shows how starting the day with milk’s protein can help power potential. In April, we launched The Great American Milk Drive, a partnership between the milk industry and Feeding America to address the critical need for milk’s nutrition in America’s food banks. And, the new Built with Chocolate Milk campaign continues to tout the competitive recovery benefits of chocolate milk after exercise.

We also amped up our efforts to increase consumer confidence in milk’s fundamental goodness. These initiatives safeguard milk’s reputation against anti-milk messages that impact consumers’ purchasing decisions. Without this foundation, our programs can’t work as hard as they should.

These are all long-term programs for the milk industry. Early results show that our campaigns are hard-hitting, effectively changing attitudes and motivating consumption. Most critical is staying focused on the initiatives that help to move more milk, change consumer behavior, and activate the industry to work hand-in-hand toward success.

 I’m excited about what the future holds for MilkPEP and the dairy industry, and look forward to more collaboration, more focus and more excitement that will truly make a difference for our category.