USDEC: U.S. Center For Dairy Excellence Opens In Singapore
Thursday, October 29th, 2020 | 316 Views
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) has 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 glocalisation 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.
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