November 7, 2008

California Milk Advisory Board Embarks on China Trade Mission

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) announced today that on November 8, key board members, members of the executive team and several partners will travel to China to participate in an organized trade mission. The delegation will be investigating and promoting the state dairy industry's trade opportunities with the country as demand for products made with Real California Milk increases.

This trade mission is extremely well timed to take advantage of heightened opportunities to open up new export avenues for California's productive dairy industry and to meet China's growing demand for safe and reliable dairy products.

In addition to a number of CMAB board and executive team members, partners including Cacique USA, California Dairies, Inc., Challenge Dairy Products, DairyAmerica, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Fiscalini Cheese Company, Foster Farms Dairy, Great Lakes Cheese Company, Joseph Gallo Farms, Land O'Lakes, Inc., Leprino Foods, Pacific Cheese and Western United Dairymen will travel to China on the eight-day mission. The mission is designed to establish a greater understanding of the scope of the dairy industry in China, and to help facilitate business deals that will initiate and expand additional trade options.

"Though some companies have contracts with the Chinese dairy industry, for many California dairy producers and manufacturers of products made with Real California Milk, breaking into international markets seems like an intangible goal," said Stan G. Andre, chief executive officer of the CMAB. "We anticipate that this trip will help solidify our current position in China and hopefully open even more doors to further opportunity."

News of recent Chinese dairy industry issues contrasts dramatically with California's commitment to quality. This has led to increased interest in manufacturing products like butter and cheese with Real California Milk in China. California's dairy industry thrives under some of the most stringent product safety standards and maintains some of the most sustainable production practices in the United States. In fact, milk from California actually exceeds the United States' federal guidelines for the amounts of calcium and protein in each serving.

While demand for California dairy products is already high, it continues to grow. A study released by the CMAB in September showed California's dairy business generated a record 41 billion pounds of milk. The data represents a nearly 12 percent increase in milk production since 2004.

"California currently exports a number of dairy products to China including butter, mozzarella cheese for pizza and specialty cheeses and commodity cheeses," said David Freedheim, sales consultant for the CMAB. "This kind of business could expand dramatically in the years ahead."

In 2007, the CMAB introduced the Real California Milk seal. Products made with Real California Milk that are processed in China, such as cheese and butter, will be encouraged to carry the seal. Updates and key findings from the trade mission will be reported at the December CMAB Board Meeting in Napa, CA.

**If you would like a list of participating attendees please contact Sara Kerns at [email protected]

About the California Milk Advisory Board

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state's 2,000 dairy families. With headquarters in South San Francisco and Modesto, the CMAB is one of the largest commodity boards in the United States. The CMAB executes advertising, public relations, research and retail and foodservice promotional programs on behalf of California dairy products, including Real California Milk and Real California Cheese. For more information on California dairy products, visit