US dairies that between them process more than two thirds of the country's milk supply have committed to a set of traceability guidelines designed to help the sector meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Since its inception late last year, 17 processors, including Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Land O’Lakes, HP Hood and Schreiber Foods, have vowed to adhere to the Innovation Center for US Dairy’s best practices for enhanced dairy traceability.
The guidelines , based on the Innovation Center for US Dairy's "three pillars" of traceability, were designed “by processors, for processors, to increase global competitiveness, help satisfy future requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) and, in the rare event of a safety issue, quickly isolate products to protect public health and prevent brand damage.”
Darigold, California Dairies, Agri-Mark, Associated Milk Producers, Foremost Farms USA, Glanbia Foods, Hilmar Cheese Company, Leprino Foods, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Select Milk Producers, Swiss Valley Farms, Tillamook, and United Dairymen of Arizona have also signed up, the Innovation Center for US Dairy announced last month.
Between them, these 17 dairies process 68% of the US milk supply.
This figure falls just short of the Innovation Center for US Dairy's target of 80% by September 2014.
To meet this goal, the guidelines will need to gain support from small as well as large dairies, said Dermot Carey, Innovation Center for US Dairy’s Traceability Subcommittee chairman and senior vice president of Darigold's ingredients division.
“We want the United States to be the global leader in dairy traceability,” said Carey.
“When we announced the traceability standards in September, our ambitious goal was to have 80% of the milk supply covered within a year."
“With commitments from most of the large processors, we’re off to a strong start. But to hit out goal, we need commitments from processors of all sizes," he added.