Dairy export issues were one of the many aspects discussed during a recent virtual roundtable focused on supply chain challenges. Members of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force heard from industry organizations about the obstacles agriculture is dealing with. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has indicated that shipping complications have cost the U.S. dairy industry nearly $1 billion in the first seven months of 2021. While there is frustration related to the shipping disruptions, there is some sense of relief that the issue is gaining increased attention.
“These issues warrant the focus of the entire federal government in order to address the negative economic effects on both businesses and consumers from these challenges,” NMPF and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) Executive Vice President for Policy, Jaime Castaneda said in a press release. “This discussion was a first positive step which we hope will continue to drive high-level attention to the obstacles affecting U.S. supply chains and exports.”
Industry groups have been pushing for solutions to the shipping problem for months. NMPF and USDEC were appreciative of the chance to explain in detail how supply chain disruptions are negatively impacting dairy export opportunities. The organizations shared suggestions for how the White House and Congress can help address the mounting problems with the supply chain. High detention and demurrage fees, increasing shipping rates, along with canceled or deferred shipments are creating substantial concern for dairy producers. As international demand for dairy continues to grow, the U.S. runs the risk of losing market share due to the instability of the supply chain.
During a recent U.S. House Agriculture Committee hearing, President and CEO of Leprino Foods, Mike Durkin provided a first-hand account of dairy export issues. Durkin called on lawmakers to take action to remedy the situation to help ensure the viability of export markets for U.S. dairy moving forward. “This export crisis may well result in irreparable harm to American agriculture as customers around the world are questioning the U.S. dairy industry’s reliability as a supplier,” said Durkin.