Dean foods
October 8, 2019

Dean Foods Leaves IDFA Over Food Labeling

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

On Tuesday Dean Foods announced they were leaving the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). The company says it is leaving over labeling of dairy products and plant-based beverages. 

“Dean Foods has been a strong supporter of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) for many years, however we have reached a point where one of our key priorities is no longer shared by the entire IDFA organization,” Dean Foods said in a statement. “More specifically, as one of the largest dairy processors in the country, we are proud of the role we play in providing one of the most nutritious products in the grocery store – milk – to consumers around the nation.  With this in mind, we believe it is wrong that many plant-based products are currently marketed using milk’s good name yet are lacking several of the inherent nutrients of their dairy counterparts.”

According to Dean Foods, IDFA has not reached consensus or taken a stance on this issue, and because of that, they’ve decided it’s no longer appropriate to financially support an organization that is not behind on of their core priorities.

“We’ll instead divert our advocacy resources to pursuing accurate product labeling for the benefit of the dairy industry, including farmers, processors and consumers around the country.”

Matt Herrick, senior vice president of strategic communications for IDFA, says Dean Foods has been an important member of IDFA for many years. “We wish them well,” he said. 

Additionally, departures from IDFA are very rare, he says. According to Herrick, more than 30 companies joined as members in 2019 alone thanks to a more inclusive association that represents and engages all segments of the growing dairy industry, from milk, yogurt and ice cream to cheese and dairy-derived ingredients. 

“IDFA is proud to advocate on behalf of America’s dairy companies,” he said. 

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