As the first overseas physical investment by USDEC, the U.S. CDE in Singapore is funded by US dairy farmers and processors and envisioned as a gateway for collaboration between the US dairy community and Southeast Asia’s food and beverage stakeholders, the culinary sector, health professionals and other partners.
The U.S. CDE will focus on inspiring regionally-tailored nutrition and innovation solutions with US dairy ingredients and cheeses to meet evolving consumer needs. The investments in the center are also intended to pave the way towards the future of food, committing to sustainability, deploying technologies, strengthening collaboration, and applying the latest consumer research.
USDEC president and CEO, Secretary Tom Vilsack, said, “The U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence creates an education hub and meeting place where relationships can be developed and strengthened, where we can share market intelligence and insights, spark ideation, lead research, and share the remarkable story of US dairy’s sustainable production.
“It represents a long-term commitment by the US dairy industry to the region and exports, and recognition of the importance of Southeast Asia as an innovation hub. We’re excited to launch the U.S. CDE and excited for you to see it.”
Vikki Nicholson-West, executive director, USDEC Singapore Ltd, added, “Southeast Asia’s dynamic and innovative food sector is a key reason we selected it for the first U.S. CDE, along with deep appreciation for relationships formed over two decades. We hope the center becomes a valuable resource that enables Southeast Asian customers, consumers and US dairy suppliers to thrive together in the future food ecosystem.”
In 2019, the region was the second largest destination for US dairy by volume after Mexico, with an export value of $934m. US dairy exports to the region grew in value by $250m from 2017 to 2019 and are on track to finish the year with record high value. Southeast Asia is well on pace in 2020 to be the top market for US dairy exports by volume.
Dalilah Ghazalay, regional director, USDEC Southeast Asia, said, “As a key part of our programs, we will focus on glocalization by innovating with local ingredients to better suit local taste preferences. We look forward to the opportunity to work with and innovate alongside our customers.”
While social distancing guidelines remain in place in Singapore, virtual programming from the U.S. CDE will commence on November 18 with an online seminar on Healthy Active Aging with U.S. Dairy Proteins featuring nutrition experts from Singapore and Japan.
The 500 sqm facility in Singapore’s Robertson Quay includes a demonstration kitchen, ISO standard-based sensory evaluation lab, meeting and training rooms and video broadcasting capabilities.