The US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) virtually launched its new center at Robertson Quay on Wednesday.
It will serve as the regional hub for the United States dairy exports, further solidifying Singapore as the industrial base in the area.
The center is funded by United States dairy farmers and processors and will be an “innovation and education hub”, with a demonstration kitchen, a sensory evaluation lab, and meeting and training rooms.
Its aim is to become a platform for discovering South-east Asian uses for United States dairy products.
Experimental combinations of US dairy ingredients and local products such as gula melaka, or palm sugar, have been trialed.
US dairy plans with South-east Asia
The USDEC has been working on a prototype called “High Protein Gula Melaka Lassi-tte”, which is a protein-rich drink made by combining the US produced whey protein with yogurt, low-fat milk, and gula melaka.
In a statement on Wednesday, USDEC said that the center was “envisioned as a gateway for collaboration between the United States dairy community and South-east Asia’s food and beverage stakeholders, the culinary sector, health professionals and other partners”.
South-east Asia is on pace to become the top combined market for US dairy exports by volume this year, overtaking Mexico, with a total export value of $1.27 billion in 2019.
US dairy exports to the region grew by US$250 million (S$338 million) from 2017 to 2019.
USDEC’s resident and chief executive officer, Tom Vilsack, said: “The USCDE represents a long-term commitment by the US dairy industry to the region and exports and recognition of the importance of South-east Asia as an innovation hub.”
The Philippines is the biggest regional importer of US dairy products, followed by Indonesia and Vietnam. Last year, Singapore imported about 37,000 metric tons and accounted for 9 percent of total regional imports.
The USDEC is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of United States dairy producers, processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers, and export traders.
Source: The Star