Another area requiring change: Government regulations that continue to hinder industry's efforts to innovate and grow. Federal milk pricing regulations, food standards and other laws – some of which date back to the 1930s – have not kept pace with the times. Tipton proposed working together as an industry to provide greater product flexibility and innovation and collaborating on ways to remove "the shackles" of milk pricing regulation.
"Streamlining our milk pricing policies would be a great start to break the milk industry out of its doldrums and put some fresh wind in its sails," Tipton said. "It's time for our industry to come together in support of phasing out government-classified pricing and pooling."
She also encouraged industry participants to work in harmony to modernize food standards, adding, "Most of these standards are long past their sell-by dates and need to be pulled from the shelves." The rigid nature of the current federal food standards and the nearly impossible process for changing them are "grave impediments" to the innovation necessary to meet evolving consumer needs, Tipton said.
Later this year, IDFA will propose to draft new federal legislation that would allow meaningful innovation without changing the characterizing ingredients in the food. This change would allow dairy companies to use "safe and suitable alternatives and processes" and still market their products within the existing dairy food categories that consumers know and want.
"I believe there's enormous opportunity for our dynamic industry, and our potential is unlimited. The future glows bright with opportunity, but our success hinges upon taking steps together on the important issues and challenges we face as a domestic and global industry," she concluded.