U.S. and Pan-American dairy farmers partnered to foster collaboration in promoting trade and combating trade-inhibiting regulations and policies.

The partnership—between the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), Arlington, Va., and the Pan American Dairy Federation (FEPALE), Belgium—is designed to enhance communications and information-sharing between the region's dairy sectors and provide better coordination and education of governments across the region to ensure that international regulations remain science-based.

"It's important for the U.S. dairy industry to take proactive steps to be involved in international discussion about product regulations," says Tom Vilsack, USDEC president and CEO. "U.S. milk is the safest and highest quality in the world, and this partnership will mutually benefit the United States and Latin America on regulatory issues."

A key element of the partnership is the establishment of a forum for members of FEPALE that will focus on standards in animal health, milk production, quality, sustainability, nutrition and other issues.

"The partnership will develop and promote a strong network between the U.S. dairy industry and the dairy industries of Latin America to protect and enhance milk sales through regulatory cooperation as well as policy partnerships," says Jaime Castaneda, USDEC's senior vice president of trade policy.

The partnership between FEPALE and USDEC will:

  • Improve the information and knowledge of FEPALE members on issues related to international organizations of importance to the sector.
  • Promote the development of international standards, or scientifically-based guidelines, that support the pre-competitive functioning of global dairy markets.
  • Monitor international regulatory issues related to the defense of the dairy sector, especially those related to commercial issues in global markets.
  • Establish within FEPALE a "Regulatory Forum," or "Regulatory Affairs Committee," to promote, inform and train the members of the federation on the importance of these issues.

"World consumption of dairy products continues to increase, and this new partnership will ensure producers have a strong voice when it comes to regulatory issues," says Dr. Ariel Londinsky, general manager of FEPALE.