US Centre for Dairy Excellence opens in Singapore

The new US Dairy Export Council facility solidifies US dairy industry’s in-region base, elevating customer-centric, innovation-driven approach to collaboratively seize future of food opportunities.

The US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) has unveiled the start of a new chapter for its presence in Southeast Asia with a virtual event officially launching the new US Centre for Dairy Excellence (US CDE). As its first overseas physical investment by USDEC, the US CDE in Singapore is funded by US dairy farmers and processors, and envisioned as a gateway for collaboration between the US dairy community 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 US CDE will focus on inspiring regionally tailored nutrition and innovation solutions with US dairy ingredients and cheeses to meet evolving consumer needs. The investments in the centre will also pave the way towards the Future of Food, committing to sustainability, deploying technologies, strengthening collaboration, and applying the latest consumer research.

Tom Vilsack, president and CEO for USDEC, commented: “The US Centre 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 story of US Dairy’s sustainable production. It represents a long-term commitment by the US dairy industry to the region and exports, and recognition of the importance of Southeast Asia as an innovation hub.”

The USDEC reported that the demand for US Dairy’s growing portfolio of sustainably produced dairy products has “steadily climbed” in recent years in Southeast Asia, as customers have come to appreciate the variety and versatility of US cheese and dairy ingredients, such as milk powders, dairy protein, lactose and permeate. In 2019, the region was second largest destination for US dairy by volume after Mexico, with an export value of US$934 million. US 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, it added.

Dalilah Ghazalay, regional director, USDEC Southeast Asia, concluded: “US 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. As a key part of our programmes, we will focus on glocalisation by innovating with local ingredients to better suit local taste preferences.”

To find out more on USDEC’s expanded strategies into Southeast Asia, keep a lookout for the upcoming FBA Dec 20/Jan 21 issue.