Advanced technology gives us the ability to live better and the opportunity to get things done faster. On the flipside, how and when do you draw the line between accelerated technological progress, while avoiding human obsolescence.
As we embrace new technological phases of progress more fervently, scientifically and compassionately than before, we must be careful to avoid allowing our human value to depreciate. Modern technology is great, as long as we do not allow it to make us lazy and useless. (Taken from the April 11, 2009, article, Blinding “Me” With Science – Tips For Preventing Human Obsolescence)
The negative repercussions from Canada’s ongoing defiance of its trade obligations are a stark reminder of the critical role exports play in the health and vitality of the U.S. dairy industry.
Over the long term, U.S. milk production is rising faster than domestic demand and will likely continue to do so. Since 2003, nearly half of “new” milk produced in this country has gone to markets beyond our borders.
Dairy exports annually contribute about $15 billion to the U.S. economy, supporting 42,000 U.S. dairy farmers, 100,000 good-paying jobs and countless businesses that provide inputs all along the dairy supply chain. To sustain the benefits that exports bring to this nation, exports need to grow.
What do I mean when I say grow?
The staff at the U.S. Dairy Export Council analyzed U.S. dairy capabilities, global demand expectations and the capacity of competitors to meet the expanding and evolving needs of overseas buyers. Over the last four years, U.S. dairy export volume has averaged the equivalent of about 15% of the U.S. milk supply. We believe we can grow that number to 20% — or as we say at USDEC, “The Next 5%.”
Demand will be there
Population gains and middle class expansion will continue to drive global dairy consumption in emerging markets at a faster pace than domestic dairy industries can match.
Over the next 15 years, Asia’s middle class alone will grow by 2.7 billion people, from about 525 million today to 3.2 billion, which is about 10 times the total current population of the United States.
There is incredible opportunity for U.S. dairy processors and producers with those middle class consumers. USDEC estimates rising consumer demand will increase globally traded milk powder and dry whey volumes by more than 1 million tons by 2021. Demand for other dairy ingredients — milk protein concentrate, lactose and specialized products like lactoferrin and alpha-lactalbumin — will rise by more than 100,000 tons.
On the cheese side, demand for natural cheese at foodservice and retail (as well as pizza and other cheese types) will raise global cheese trade by more than 500,000 tons by 2021.
An ample, rising milk supply and a competitive, evolving product portfolio put the U.S. dairy industry in position to capture significant shares of those additional ingredient and cheese volumes. Backed by rigorous quality and safety standards, U.S. suppliers have made investments in products, people and plants. They have strengthened customer-centric relationships, aiming to cultivate long-term global supply and innovation partnerships.
For USDEC’s part, we plan to focus on three areas to help deliver The Next 5%.There are many facets to each strategy, but briefly:
Increasing demand includes supporting research into dairy nutrition and communicating positive health links to consumers, governments and aid organizations to buttress consumption. The more we can facilitate the understanding of milk’s benefits and the enjoyment of dairy products here and abroad, the more consumers will gravitate toward dairy. It is particularly important to address younger people to improve the chances that they will continue to utilize milk and dairy products as they age.
What is it about creativity that frightens some people?
Why does anything innovative tend to be met with resistance?
Oscar Wilde once remarked, “An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.” I think that an inherent bias against uncertainty and fear of the unknown is at the core of our trepidation when we get confronted with a new idea. For work to be truly creative and groundbreaking, it must depart from the status quo of what is known or accepted, and that’s where the challenge lies.
Innovation lives on the other side of fear.
You could fill an ocean with all the examples of people who had their brilliant ideas rejected. Preston Tucker, an American automobile designer, and entrepreneur who introduced a brand-new car design in 1948 was one such example. The car was so innovative when it was introduced, it sent the Big 3 automakers into a frenzy. The Tucker, as it was aptly named, was the first car ever to include seat belts. The engine was 150 horsepower with fuel injection and was placed in the rear of the car.
Another Tucker invention was the laminated windshield engineered to pop out during an accident, along with many other safety features. Instead of being celebrated, he was run out of business by unscrupulous individuals who were not ready for his type of forward-thinking.