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U.S., Mexico dairy leaders chart path forwardU.S., Mexico dairy leaders chart path forward

Dairy sectors recommit to binational cooperation during meetings held in Kansas City.

Jacqui Fatka

August 18, 2022

3 Min Read
DAIRY MINDS MEET: Leaders from USDEC and NMPF served as the U.S. hosts and event organizers for a joint meeting with counterparts from Mexico to agree on goals to continue a strong, beneficial trading relationship between U.S. and Mexico dairy producers. USDEC/NMPF

Leading dairy representatives from the United States and Mexico gathered at Dairy Farmers of America headquarters in Kansas City this week to discuss strengthening cross-border cooperation on dairy issues. The U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation served as the U.S. hosts and event organizers.

Mexico’s delegation at the meeting included representatives from the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG), Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Leche (AMLAC), Gremio de Productores Lecheros de Mexico, Cámara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche (CANILEC), and Consejo Nacional Agropecuario (CNA).

Mexico’s dairy together production sector is comprised of approximately 250,000 dairies,  the majority of which are micro and small operations with less than 100 dairy cow s each. According to an October 2021 report from USDA, the Mexican dairy industry estimates it will be able to satisfy national demand with approximately 85% domestic milk and 15% imported milk. Fluid milk imports mostly reach Mexico’s northeast states and the U.S.–Mexico border region due to logistics and freight costs. 

On their fifth annual meeting within the framework of the partnership to strengthen the productive sector for milk in North America, held in Kansas City.

The U.S. and Mexican dairy industries agreed to preserve, facilitate, and enhance fair trade between the two nations.  The also agreed to preserve the forum for discussion and analysis of the relevant topics and issues of the milk and dairy producing sectors of Mexico and the United States. According to USDEC, Mexico imported 337,687 metric tons of U.S. dairy products in 2021. 

A key objective shared by both nations is the expansion of dairy consumption in both countries to the benefit of producers, manufacturers and consumers in the United States and Mexico. The agreed to promote joint activities that help increase the consumption of our dairy products within the region. 

They also agreed to identify and promote actions that improve the productivity of dairy farms in Mexico and the United States. 

They also want to continuously seek to strengthen the image and reputation of milk and dairy products in both countries to defend against the improper usage of milk and milk product names by other products of non-dairy origin. The goals also include continuing activities in defense of common food names, in particular, cheese names, allowing their free use in the North American market. 

The nations agreed to work on the strengthening of cooperation in the areas of technological exchange and training, both in terms of milk production at the farm level and in food safety and quality improvement of milk and dairy products from the nutritional standpoint. 

The dairy industries in both Mexico and the United States are committed to sustainability. Representatives at the Binational Dairy Summit this week brainstormed ideas to ensure consumers in both countries understand the good story that dairy has to tell.

They also committed to sharing information on key new areas such as animal welfare, farm labor, and other issues as they appear and mutually agree to the benefit of our producers and industry to ensure that we coordinate efforts to defend dairy in international forums and with consumers, and exchange information about the market trends of milk and dairy products in the North American region. 

Develop a work plan on the topics of the common agenda, with a follow-up scheme with scheduled meetings.


About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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