By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

In hopes of meeting the ever-changing demand of Southeast Asian consumers, the United States Dairy Export Council (U.S. DEC) recently launched the first-ever U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence (U.S. CDE) in Singapore. 

The U.S. DEC is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. Dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, as well as ingredient suppliers and export traders.

“Our members take the milk that’s produced by 37,000 family farming operations in the U.S. and turn it into a wide variety of cheeses and ingredients that are sustainably and safely produced, provide nutrition, and are high quality,” said Tom Vilsack, the President and CEO of the U.S. DEC and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Equipped with state-of-the-art demonstration kitchens, labs, as well as training facilities, the first-ever U.S. CDE is seen to become an education hub and meeting place which will, as former Secretary Vilsack said, “strengthen the relationship [of the U.S. DEC] with the Southeast Asian market.”

Singapore has been chosen as the site of the U.S. CDE because of the country’s economic standing in the region, its status as a food hub, and its strong culture–all of which will help the U.S. DEC to market their dairy products to fit the preferences of Asian consumers and raise awareness of how producers can produce quality dairy products much like those of their U.S. counterparts. 

“Having the Center for Dairy Excellence here [in Singapore] will enable us to tap on and learn from everyone’s area of expertise and strength in this sector,” said Low Yen Ling, the Minister of State in the Ministry for Trade and Industry. 

She added that the establishment of the center in Singapore represents the U.S. dairy industry’s long-term commitment to the region. 

Measuring at 500 square meters, the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence is conveniently located in Singapore’s Robertson Quay and consists of a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, a sensory lab designed based on the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), classroom training facilities, conference rooms, the latest video and streaming technology, as well as an office space for U.S. DEC’s Singapore-based staff. 

Aside from being an education hub and training facility, the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence will also serve as a research and development center that will gather information about latest market trends, the demands of Southeast Asian consumers, as well as innovative ideas on how to best deliver nutritious products to the region.

Through the center, producers from Southeast Asian countries can learn how to develop quality food products and menus made with U.S. cheese and dairy ingredients that meet the locals’ taste preferences and lifestyles while also supporting sustainable nutrition goals in the region. 

By November 2020, U.S. DEC will begin carrying out virtual programs from the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence in Singapore. 

For more updates and information, visit the U.S. DEC’s official website.