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U.S. and Mexico Dairy Sectors Recommit to Binational Cooperation

By Mark O'Keefe

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 (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) served as the U.S. hosts and event organizers. Mexico’s delegation at the meeting included representatives from the Confederacio´n Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG), Asociacio´n Mexicana de Productores de Leche (AMLAC), Gremio de Productores Lecheros de Mexico, Ca´mara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche (CANILEC), and Consejo Nacional Agropecuario (CNA). 

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 hereby agree to:

1. Preserve, facilitate, and enhance fair trade between the two nations.

2. Preserve this forum for discussion and analysis of the relevant topics and issues of the milk and dairy producing sectors of Mexico and the United States.

3. Have as a key objective the expansion of dairy consumption in both countries to the benefit of producers, manufacturers and consumers in the United States and Mexico. Promote joint activities that help increase the consumption of our dairy products within our region.

4. Identify and promote actions that improve the productivity of dairy farms in Mexico and the United States.

5. 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.

6. Maintain an open communication channel between the milk and dairy producers' organizations of both countries, with the aim of achieving consensus for the benefit of our industries. Likewise, exchange information and successful experiences through the participation of members of both countries in forums and congresses organized by our associations.

7. 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.

8. Work on sharing information on key new areas such as sustainability, 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. Exchange information about the market trends of milk and dairy products in the North American region.

9. Continue activities in defense of common food names, in particular, cheese names, allowing their free use in our North American market.

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

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