New U.S. Dairy Export Council facility solidifies U.S. dairy industry’s in-region base, elevating customer-centric, innovation-driven approach to collaboratively seize Future of Food opportunities
SINGAPORE, Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today unveiled the start of an exciting new chapter for its presence in Southeast Asia with a virtual event officially launching the new U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence (U.S. CDE). As the first overseas physical investment by USDEC, the U.S. CDE in Singapore is funded by U.S. dairy farmers and processors and envisioned as a gateway for collaboration between the U.S. dairy community (U.S. Dairy) and Southeast Asia’s food and beverage stakeholders, the culinary sector, health professionals and other partners.
As today’s technological and societal changes continue to drive and reshape the food and beverage industry, the U.S. CDE will focus on inspiring regionally tailored nutrition and innovation solutions with U.S. dairy ingredients and cheeses to meet evolving consumer needs. The investments in the Center will also pave the way towards the Future of Food, committing to sustainability, deploying technologies, strengthening collaboration, and applying the latest consumer research.
The U.S. CDE launch celebration, which was attended by distinguished industry, academia and government guests from across Southeast Asia, opened with keynote remarks by Guest-of-Honor Ms. Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, special guest Mr. Rafik Mansour, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., U.S. Embassy Singapore, and USDEC’s President and CEO, Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"The U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence creates an education hub and meeting place where relationships can be developed and strengthened, where we can share market intelligence and insights, spark ideation, lead research, and share the remarkable story of U.S. Dairy’s sustainable production," said Secretary Vilsack. "It represents a long-term commitment by the U.S. dairy industry to the region and exports, and recognition of the importance of Southeast Asia as an innovation hub. We’re excited to launch the U.S. CDE and excited for you to see it," he added.
Ms. Vikki Nicholson-West, Executive Director, USDEC Singapore Ltd, reflected on U.S. Dairy’s progress in Southeast Asia since 1998 and the U.S. CDE as a key milestone. "Southeast Asia’s dynamic and innovative food sector is a key reason we selected it for the first U.S. CDE, along with deep appreciation for relationships formed over two decades. We hope the Center becomes a valuable resource that enables Southeast Asian customers, consumers and U.S. dairy suppliers to thrive together in the future food ecosystem."
Demand for U.S. Dairy’s growing portfolio of high-quality, sustainably produced dairy products has steadily climbed in recent years in Southeast Asia, as customers have come to appreciate the variety and versatility of U.S. cheese and dairy ingredients, such as milk powders, dairy protein, lactose and permeate. In 2019, the region was the second largest destination for U.S. dairy by volume after Mexico, with an export value of US$934 million (S$1.27 billion). U.S. Dairy exports to the region grew in value by $250 million from 2017 to 2019 and are on track to finish the year with record high value. Southeast Asia is well on pace in 2020 to be the top market of U.S. dairy exports by volume.
"U.S. Dairy has played a crucial role in the food ecosystem and economy of Southeast Asia over the past two decades. Its versatility and adaptability to Southeast Asian food and beverage applications is unparalleled," said Ms. Dalilah Ghazalay, Regional Director, USDEC Southeast Asia. "As a key part of our programs, we will focus on glocalization by innovating with local ingredients to better suit local taste preferences. We look forward to the opportunity to work with and innovate alongside our customers." she added.
While social distancing guidelines remain in place in Singapore, virtual programming from the U.S. CDE will commence on November 18th with an online seminar on Healthy Active Aging with U.S. Dairy Proteins featuring nutrition experts from Singapore and Japan.
Launch Event Highlights
Guests were treated to a sneak peek of the Robertson Quay facility through a self-guided 360° virtual tour highlighting the Center’s key features, which includes a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, ISO standard-based sensory evaluation lab, meeting and training rooms and the latest video broadcasting capabilities, showcasing how the U.S. CDE can further support customers and partners in Southeast Asia. The event also featured a live U.S. dairy protein innovation demonstration led by Mixologist, Mr. Robert Elijah Fajardo Milan and Mr. Martin Teo, Technical Director, Food Applications, USDEC Southeast Asia.
Larry Hancock, a Texas dairy farmer and the Council’s Chairman, relayed farmers’ enthusiasm for the U.S. CDE. "Southeast Asia is a large area with many different cultures and countries, and likewise so is the United States of America. Yet, despite the diversity, as an industry we are united on caring for cow care and comfort, to environmental stewardship, and to the quality of the great, nutritious products we produce. We are united on exports and meeting the needs of local customers and consumers through the new U.S. CDE."
About the U.S. Dairy Export Council
The U.S. Dairy Export Council® (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. USDEC aims to enhance U.S. global competitiveness through market development programs that build demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers, and advance industry trade policy goals. As the world’s largest producer of cow’s milk, the U.S. dairy industry offers a sustainably produced, world-class, expanding portfolio of cheese varieties and nutritional and functional dairy ingredients (e.g. skim milk powder, lactose, whey and milk proteins and permeate). Through its Singaporean-based subsidiary USDEC Singapore Ltd and representative network across the ASEAN region and globe, the Council works directly with buyers and end-users to accelerate customer purchasing and innovation success with quality U.S. dairy products and ingredients. It also shares science-backed information on the health and nutritional benefits U.S. dairy delivers.
Follow USDEC Singapore on Instagram @ThinkUSAdairy for more U.S. dairy insights, innovation ideas and information on future U.S. CDE activities. For further resources on nutrition, trends and applications with U.S. Dairy, visit http://www.thinkusadairy.org/seasia.
About the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence (U.S. CDE)
Established in Singapore in 2020 by USDEC Singapore, Ltd., the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence (U.S. CDE) is a first-of-its-kind learning destination, ideation hub and collaboration space for U.S. dairy customers, health professionals and other U.S. dairy partners in Southeast Asia. The 500 sqm facility located in Singapore’s Robertson Quay, contains a demonstration kitchen, sensory evaluation lab, seminar and meeting rooms, and other features elevating USDEC’s in-region resources to deliver Southeast Asia-friendly nutrition, marketing, and innovation solutions. The U.S. CDE represents the U.S. dairy industry’s long-term commitment to Southeast Asia and was established by U.S. dairy farmers and processors with the ambition to make it a gateway connecting U.S. suppliers and Southeast Asian customers. Visitors to the U.S. CDE can explore and experience the essence of U.S. Dairy, gaining locally tailored ideation and innovation sparks for U.S. dairy applications, actionable consumer insights, and business-relevant updates on market trends, trade dynamics, nutrition research, environmental sustainability initiatives and more.