WASHINGTON – The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) announced its senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, Joseph Scimeca, will retire this summer.

Scimeca led the organization’s regulatory and scientific affairs team and spent close to four decades in the food industry.

Per IDFA, it is conducting a national search for the position and Scimeca will remain in the role until the organization can bring on his successor.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the dairy industry as a critical segment of the food and beverage industry and ensuring consumers are provided safe, nutritious and wholesome dairy products,” Scimeca said. “It’s been my distinct privilege and pleasure to have worked alongside an extraordinary IDFA staff, in close partnership with our dairy company members.”

He spent three years leading IDFA’s scientific and regulatory affairs team, which guides and consults IDFA members on topics such as  food safety, food defense, federal standards of identity, labeling, nutrition policy, sustainability and environmental and worker safety.

Scimeca’s time in that role included a challenging stretch for the industry as it dealt with the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic. IDFA also shared that Scimeca supported food safety culture in the industry and “elevated dairy’s role in the field of nutrition, maintaining dairy alongside fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains in the healthy dietary pattern recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 report.”

Before he joined IDFA, Scimeca spent 16 years at Cargill Inc., including time as the vice president of global regulatory and scientific affairs. During his career, he also took on leadership roles at Kraft Foods Inc., The Pillsbury Company and General Mills. He sits on several boards and committees in the food and beverage industries and has authored many peer-reviewed scientific papers, monographs and book chapters.

“Joe has brought to IDFA a tremendous level of scientific and regulatory experience and vision for how the dairy industry and government can partner to advance innovation and public well-being,” said Michael Dykes, president and chief executive officer of IDFA. “Under his direction, the IDFA regulatory affairs team has embraced innovation in our industry, launched the association’s first sustainability initiative and remained steadfast in our commitment to food safety and sharing the nutritional value of dairy with as many people as possible. I’m grateful for Joe’s partnership, leadership and service to the US dairy industry.”