Category Archives: dairy in oregon

Reflecting on the Year of Milk

Amidst the excitement of heading into 2018, we’re reflecting on a memorable year that marked the anniversary of milk’s selection as Oregon’s Official State Beverage. We called it the “Year of Milk,” and it was a celebration 20 years in the making.

It all started back in 1997, when Bruce Cardin’s sixth grade students at East Elementary School in Tillamook felt strongly that milk should be Oregon’s state beverage. They traveled to Salem twice to testify in support of the designation, and Senate Joint Resolution 8 became official in April 1997.

Fast forward to 2017, and some of those same students returned to Salem for Dairy Day at the Capitol in March for a reunion with Mr. Cardin and some of the legislators who helped pass the resolution. Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation designating April 2017 as Oregon Milk Month, which served as the beginning of a series of events and observances celebrating milk and Oregon’s dairy farmers, dairy food processors and dairy cows.

Through Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s Literacy Project about milk and presentations by Dairy Princess Ambassadors at Oregon AgFest, students learned more about milk and its role in their diet. Milk was also celebrated at events including the Milk Carton Boat Race, the Tillamook Dairy Festival and Parade, the Oregon State Fair and Oregon’s Bounty. Observances included June Dairy Month, National Ice Cream Month and Hunger Action Month for the Great American Milk Drive.

While the Year of Milk has come to an end, we look forward to two additional landmark anniversaries in 2018. It will be the 100th anniversary of the Oregon Dairy Council and the 75th anniversary of the Oregon Dairy Products Commission. So there will be plenty more reasons to raise a toast with a cold glass of milk in the year ahead.

And now a special message from the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Alexis Taylor …



Southeast Asia Dairy Trade Mission Updates

Asia's buying power

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   |   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   |   Singapore

April 22 – May 4, 2017

The following are updates provided by Pete Kent, Executive Director of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, from the 2017 Dairy Trade Mission to Southeast Asia.

MAY 11, 2017

Following on the successful trade mission to Southeast Asia, Pete Kent sat down with Mateusz Perkowski, of the Capital Press to provide a recap and discuss next steps for delivering dairy products from the western United States to new markets in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

Oregon dairy industry builds trade ‘pipeline’ to SE Asia
Capital Press, May 11

MAY 3, 2017

As we come toward the conclusion of our Southeast Asia Dairy Trade Mission, we discover artisan cheeses and ice cream from the western states are showing up in Malaysia and Singapore high-end grocery stores. These are but two dairy products currently being shipped to the region by U.S. dairy companies.


Britton Welsh, cheese maker for Utah’s Beehive Cheese, stands with Jason’s Grocers cheese manager, in front of a selection of cheeses from Beehive Cheese.

As we’ve seen in hotels, restaurants and grocers, natural cheeses are increasingly being consumed by a growing middle class. Even whole cheese rooms are now present in the higher end stores, which feature artisan and specialty cheeses worldwide. Still, the selection of U.S. cheeses is sparse.

On our 14-day mission, which we complete this week, we’ve visited with importers, store managers, U.S. Dairy Export Council representatives, and agricultural trade officers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. All have pointed to growing opportunities for U.S. dairy products in several product categories for the region.

Upon our return, we will be working as a region to further plan our next steps in developing a collaborative effort to help open the channels to new markets, especially for our western region’s small to medium sized companies and dairy cooperatives.

APRIL 28, 2017

In day seven of our SE Asia Dairy Trade Mission, we’re struck by the number of construction cranes that line the skyline as we complete our first day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We arrived here in a very early morning, after completing four days in Vietnam, including the 2017 Food and Hotel Vietnam trade show. There we were able to sample our cheeses, in addition to viewing other dairy innovations from worldwide.

Trade shows such as Food and Hotel Vietnam allow for key connections, sample testing, and a look at other dairy innovations produced worldwide including cheese candy, smoked butter, and specially formulated barista milk.

In Malaysia, the building growth is just one indication of the economic growth in this ASEAN nation, where we are seeking new export opportunities for western dairy states.

Today in between drenching rain storms, we visited with importing food distributors, who service the growing segment of high-end restaurants, hotels, and quick serve restaurants.

Our goal is to further the connections we’ve made in the past year, with particular emphasis on artisan cheeses and dairy ingredients. While U.S. dairy is still relatively absent in these emerging nations, the desire for U.S. dairy products is increasingly becoming stronger.

APRIL 26, 2017

A growing population, increasing middle class, and one of the world’s faster growing economies make Vietnam a key country of interest for potential growth in U.S. dairy exports.

The country is the first stop of a Southeast Asia dairy trade mission, now underway. Attended by 14 representatives of dairy processors, supporting agencies and organizations from Oregon, Washington, Utah and Arizona, the mission begins with Food and Hotel Vietnam. The three-day trade event includes the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) exhibit of which we are a part.

From here, we’ll travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then on to Singapore to complete our 14-day trade mission. With more than 30 meetings, events, and activities scheduled, our goal is to help expand markets for U.S. dairy in collaboration with USDEC, with an emphasis on artisan cheese and dairy ingredients.


Exploring New Markets for Dairy Exports

Oregon dairy trade mission 2017

As you read this sentence, a delegation of 14 dairy industry and trade representatives from Oregon, Washington, Utah and Arizona are exploring new business opportunities in Southeast Asia. The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council organized this dairy trade mission to include Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

The purpose of this mission is to explore new markets and connections for exports of dairy products from Oregon and the other participating states. A full slate of meetings and visits are scheduled with government, retail, factory, trade and logistics contacts, fittingly returning during World Trade Month on May 4.

On a global scale, overall demand for dairy products continues to grow. For example, in the cheese category alone there is a projected 25% volume growth of all global cheese trade by 2021, equivalent to an additional 500,000 metric tons. Most of the projected potential lies with developing countries where growing populations, rising incomes, expansion of the middle class and greater desire for western diets is driving demand.

Dairy is Oregon’s fourth largest agricultural commodity in Oregon by value with a total economic impact of more than a billion dollars. Exports of Oregon dairy products totaled $93,662,000 in 2014. Approximately 80 percent of the dairy products made in Oregon are produced for other domestic or international markets. Previous trade missions have opened doors in South Korea and Japan.

Pete Kent, Executive Director of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, will be sharing insights from the trade mission on this website and through our social media accounts along the way.


Inbound Trade Delegation Focuses on Dairy

This week, a delegation of 7 executives will be visiting Utah, Idaho, and Oregon on an inbound trade mission to explore opportunities for dairy exports from our region. The delegation will include buyers from six companies—three from Vietnam, two from Singapore, and one from Malaysia – most of which were visited last April by a group of Northwest processors on a trade mission from the Pacific Northwest.singapore

The delegation arrived Sunday September 25, starting in Utah, followed by Idaho visits and then ending in Oregon. They will meet with dairy processors, farmers and export and logistics professionals in all three states to learn more about product availability, quality, safety, milk sources, manufacturing processes and capabilities. This cooperative regional approach is supported by the dairy checkoff organizations in each of the three states.

“This visit represents a continuation of our ongoing efforts to develop dairy export opportunities over three previous trade missions,” said Pete Kent, Executive Director for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “U.S dairy products are not well known in Southeast Asia, but we’re hoping to change that dynamic to earn a place at the table in one of the fastest growing emerging markets.”

Kent sees great potential in the near future for small and medium sized local businesses making artisan cheese and dairy ingredients. Another trade mission is already in the works that will bring these kinds of Oregon and Pacific Northwest dairy products to Vietnam in April 2017.