The US dairy supply chain operates in a highly regulated environment which covers both locally produced goods as well as imported products. The food safety and security framework is in place to ensure that consumers are protected from unsafe products entering the supply chain. Pressure to overhaul the existing food safety system has grown following several recent high-profile outbreaks.
A contamination incident is likely to cause damage to the reputation of the dairy industry in addition to the economic cost incurred by producers and processors required to deal with the issue. Small scale issues may require the recall of a range of dairy products however serious situations can require a complete shutdown of the supply chain for a period of time and result in food shortages. When incidents occur they attract the attention of the public and regulators that may determine that additional regulations are required to avoid recurring incidents, which can be costly to implement.
CDRF recognizes the continued production of safe food is a critical priority for the dairy industry and its customers and consumers. Consumer driven changes in the industry require a seamless safety focus throughout the whole chain. CDRF invests in projects to ensure milk and dairy product safety and security support demand, or prevent loss of demand, associated with loss of consumer confidence that products will meet expectations beyond taste and price.