IDFA staff members joined nearly 2,000 global dairy stakeholders from more than 50 countries in Daejeon, South Korea, last week to discuss dairy’s role in food standards, safety and quality, nutrition and health, sustainability and the global economy at the International Dairy Federation’s (IDF) World Dairy Summit. IDFA participated in IDF committee meetings held in conjunction with the summit, where members agreed to move forward with strategic plans on several priority areas, including the development of international standards and best practices for sustainability and animal welfare.
Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs, serves as a dairy processing representative on the IDF board. In the meeting, Frye and other board members agreed to nine strategic goals to accomplish over the next three years. These include:
- Working with global standard-setting bodies, such as Codex Alimentarius, to ensure international standards that affect the dairy sector are made using the latest science and technical expertise;
- Promoting best practices for animal health and welfare by contributing to the World Organization for Animal Health;
- Developing common methodologies for environmental practices; and
- Promoting dairy as an integral part of sustainable food systems.
IDF’s board also affirmed that it will place a high priority in aligning its strategic goals with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. IDF considers these goals to be the premiere global blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future.
Standards and Labeling
John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, serves as chair the IDF Standing Committee on Standards of Identity and Labeling. Allan led the committee meeting where members worked to develop solutions to three key challenges facing the global dairy industry.
The group strategized several ways to ensure dairy standards and labels in countries across the world reinforce the positive image and reputation of dairy foods and beverages as nutrient dense. They discussed the growing global interest in plant-based foods and beverages and what dairy industries in various countries are doing to protect markets.
The group also discussed action steps IDF might take to prevent the unlikely, but possible, chance that bad actors attempt to adulterate food products to intentionally cause harm to consumers or for economic gain, similar to when melamine was found intentionally added to Chinese infant formula products in 2008 to increase the apparent protein content.
Committee members also directed an action team to develop ways to defend against governments unfairly lumping nutrient-dense dairy products into categories with less-nutritious foods to impose consumption taxes that deter purchases and raise government revenue.
Allan also participated in the IDF Standing Committee on Food Additives, where members discussed ongoing work on food additive provisions within various Codex dairy food standards.
Moving forward, Allan will monitor work progress on these fronts and ensure U.S. interests are represented.
US Dairy Well Represented
Joining Frye and Allan in Daejeon was Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, who gave a presentation on the U.S. dairy industry’s desire and opportunities to expand more into global markets.
The three IDFA leaders joined nearly 20 other U.S. dairy industry representatives to form the U.S. delegation.
For more information on IDF, read “International Dairy Federation 2017/18 Annual Report.”