US co-operative Dairy Farmers of America has formed a new ingredients operation as part of a bid to increase sales of milk derivatives globally.
The Kansas City-based business, said ingredient sales had always been part of its value-added offering, but claimed the formation of a dedicated ingredients division would enable it to be "more proactive in the rapidly growing field of dairy ingredients".
"Ingredients is a growth area with real potential, which is why DFA management and the board are dedicating more resources to it," said Mark Korsmeyer, president of DFA's Dairy Food Products business. "This new division will better allow us to meet the growing demands of our customers both domestically and internationally."
Dairy was no longer simply a domestic product, said Korsmeyer, with ingredients like cheese powders, condensed whole and skim milk, dairy flavours and casein are used in a variety of products around the world, including baby formula, ice cream and flavoured dairy beverages.
At the helm of the new division will be chief operating officer Art Farris, who currently serves as executive vice president of DFA's Dairy Food Products. Farris would be responsible for driving strategic and operational initiatives for the newly formed ingredients division, DFA said.
Other positions in the new division include Tim Opper as vice president, ingredients manufacturing, and Lavonne Dietrich, vice president of sales and marketing for ingredient sales.
US exports of dairy ingredients were valued at $3bn in 2007, up 61% increase on the previous year, fuelled by growing demand in Asia, a weak US dollar, drought in Australia, export bans in India and Argentina and a change in EU support programmes for farmers.
DFA is owned by more than 18,000 dairy farmers in 48 states across the US.