Jiangnan University’s vice president Xu Yan and USDEC president and chief executive officer Tom Vilsack signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing the relationship on March 30 on Jiangnan University’s campus in Wuxi.
Vilsack said the partnership is a concrete, game-changing agreement that will lead to fruitful new opportunities that mutually benefit both China and the US.
“China is a top-priority market for the US dairy industry, and we are very excited to be working with one of the best food science schools in the nation.” Vilsack added.
Collaboration on products
Xu said the center aims to facilitate research innovation and technical services for the dairy and food industries and also strengthen education cooperation and research collaboration in dairy science and technology between the two countries.
USDEC said the MoU will encourage the development of innovative, China-friendly product formulations that incorporate US dairy ingredients, particularly whey and milk proteins and skim milk powder.
The deal will also enable US dairy suppliers to be more engaged with and responsive to China’s food industry through access to in-market facilities and opportunities for jointly pursuing innovation projects that leverage US dairy ingredient functionality, versatility and nutrition.
“This MOU is further evidence of the US industry’s desire to elevate its presence and demonstrate its commitment to meet the needs and desires of Chinese customers and consumers with sustainably produced U.S. dairy products,” Vilsack said.
The Next 5%
The agreement follows USDEC-led efforts aimed at building relationships in China and removing barriers to trade to level the playing field with competitors, including last year’s MOU on US dairy plant registration and the unilateral reduction in Chinese cheese tariffs.
Vilsack said the global marketing strategy is to drive growth toward The Next 5%, an industry-wide effort launched in 2017 to increase annual US dairy exports from the equivalent of about 15% of US milk solids to 20%.
China recently announced $3bn of tariffs on US goods in retaliation for US duties on Chinese goods. While the goods include some food such as fruit and nuts, dairy is not included in the list of products affected.