CDI adding new evaporator

California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), the largest dairy processing cooperative in California, will increase its processing capacity with the addition of a third evaporator at its Visalia, Calif. plant.

“Management continues to look for new ways to add value to its member-owners' milk through the expansion and improvement of its assets and product offerings,” said Andrei Mikhalevsky, CEO. “The addition of a new evaporator combines increased capacity and improved capabilities to offer CDI the flexibility to adjust product portfolios as market demands shift, which will grow market share and maximize member-owner profits.”

The largest capital project undertaken since the Visalia plant was built in 2007, the new evaporator will increase CDI’s ability to meet tight export specifications on value-added milk powders. The evaporator is expected to be online February 2016.

CDI members produce about 47% of California’s milk. Co-owned by more than 430 dairy producers who ship 18 billion lbs. of milk annually, it manufactures butter, fluid milk products and milk powders. Visit


Harrison named Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada administrator

The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada has named Jenn Harrison as administrator, effective March 1.

A veteran in the industry, Harrison started her work with the Dairy Council in 1997 and was previously the vice president of marketing and finance. She has coordinated community events, conducted media interviews and created social media outlets to increase producer and consumer education.

Through her career, Harrison has conducted hundreds of presentations and coordinated numerous interviews to promote the value of dairy products to schools, businesses and general consumers.

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FUTP 60, partners team up for Breakfast Awareness Program

Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) – the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program, created by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League – is helping to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy breakfast, including dairy, during National School Breakfast Week and National Nutrition Month in March.

FUTP 60 is launching the “It Starts With School Breakfast” campaign with partnership support from Dean Foods and Share Our Strength, a national organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger.

Student access to a healthy breakfast matters. Research shows that healthy students are better students; however, too many kids are showing up to school hungry.

The “It Starts With School Breakfast” campaign empowers students and families to lead change in their schools and communities, increase breakfast awareness and participation, and provide resources to help kids start each day with the fuel they need to succeed.

“Breakfast with healthy foods, including dairy, is crucial,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer and chair of Dairy Management Inc. ™, which manages the national dairy checkoff. “But, research confirms that millions of kids aren’t eating this important meal, and that has a lasting impact throughout their school day.”

Local dairy checkoff staff around the country will kick off the campaign with school events during National School Breakfast Week, March 3-7. Dean Foods is supporting the campaign at retail locations across the country, and also is contributing $100,000 to fund breakfast initiatives at FUTP 60 schools.

To learn more, visit


NPD Group: Consumers lose interest in reading nutrition labels

Changes to “Nutrition Facts” labels probably aren't happening often enough to maintain the interest of U.S. consumer, according to a global information group.

Nutrition Facts labels were put on the back of nearly every food and beverage in stores about 20 years ago, according to The NPD Group. FDA is proposing updates for the Nutrition Facts label to make it more relevant to today’s consumers. But, according to NPD’s ongoing food and beverage market research, consumers read the labels when they first appeared, but as time went on many stopped checking the label for what’s in their food.

Through its National Eating Trends® service, which has monitored the eating and drinking habits of U.S. consumers on a daily basis for more than 30 years, NPD asks consumers their level of agreement with the statement, “I frequently check labels to determine whether the foods I buy contain anything I’m trying to avoid.” 

In 1990, after the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) was passed, 65% of consumers completely or mostly agreed with the statement. That percentage decreased to 60% in 1994 shortly before the Nutrition Facts labels began appearing on food packaging, and rose to 64% in 1995 after the labels were on food packaging. Since 1995, the percentages of consumers in agreement have ranged from a high of 61% to a low of 48% in 2013.

“The most likely reason for this decline is that the effort succeeded in educating Americans about what’s in their food,” said Harry Balzer, NPD chief industry analyst and author of Eating Patterns in America.  “After all, how many times do you need to look at the Nutrition Facts label on your favorite cereal, or your favorite juice, and any other food you routinely consume?”

 NPD also tracks what consumers usually look for when they do read the Nutrition Facts label. According to NPD’s Dieting Monitor, which examines top-of-mind dieting and nutrition-related issues facing consumers, the top five items consumers who read the label look for are, in consecutive order, calories, total fat, sugar, sodium and calories from fat.

“It’s a safe bet that Americans now want more information, but be careful, there are always new issues that come up every few years,”  said Balzer. “If the Nutrition Facts label is to continue to educate, it should allow for changes more often than once every 20 years.  For example, gluten, probiotics and omega-3 were not on the radar screen 20 years ago.”

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Read Nutrition label makeover will have dairy implications


February Credit Managers' Index slides

The nation's Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) remains on a roller coaster: After improving in January, the February index returned to lower December levels, according to the National Association of Credit Management (NACM).

Prior to its December drop, the CMI had been improving since July 2013, but the sense at the end of last year was that the economy was stalling in the middle of the holiday spending season. A month later the January index bounced back to levels not seen in over two years, suggesting recovery had finally arrived and accompanied by some expectations of more consistent growth through the rest of 2014. But February's reading indicates those expectations might've been incorrect, or at least premature, according to NACM economist Chris Kuehl, PhD.

THE CMI monitors "positive" and “negative” factors in U.S. manufacturing and service sectors. Positive factors include sales, new credit applications and amount of credit extended. Negative factors include rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collection, and dollar amount beyond terms.

Both favorable and unfavorable factors stumbled in February, with the declines within these broader measures pretty much across the board.

"The sense is that slow growth is starting to have an impact on the survival of business and some of that is to be expected, especially in the retail sector," Kuehl said. "The holiday season was not very robust and for companies that rely on those last months of the year, this can be the difference between staying open another year and giving up. As the economy slogs along, it is producing a growing number of businesses no longer positioned for survival."

For a full breakdown of the manufacturing and service sectors, in addition to tables and graphs, view the complete February CMI online.

NACM and its network of affiliated associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information, education, products and services.