FRESNO, CALIF. – The Pacific Coast Coalition - Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (PCC-DBII) announced that dairy processors operating in the western United States may apply now for grants, with $4.1 million in total funds available.

The fourth round of grants through PCC-DBII include pandemic recovery tied to price declines and marketing costs.

Dairy producers and dairy processing businesses in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon are eligible to submit proposals.

PCC DBII shared that projects should address one or more of the below objectives:

• Developing new dairy value-added products, culturally diverse and ethnic value-added dairy products to meet evolving consumer trends in the region.

• Adapting current dairy products to meet evolving consumer “wants,” to meet both domestic and export demand trends.

• Developing new product lines and expanding the dairy product portfolio to meet domestic and/or export demand for fresh milk and milk products.

• Expanding milk usage beyond food and drink, for example packaging/films, edible products for companion animals, cosmetics and other high-value segments.

• Adding value to milk by increasing its intrinsic value through differentiation production system/feed additives for nutritional enhancement and fractionation of components.

• Adopting alternative processing technologies for value-added dairy products, optimization, and/or recovery of high-value co-streams to increase the profitability of the dairy sector.

• Creating future opportunities for value-added ingredients and nutritional powders, milk fat products, and specialty blends, and decreasing the dependence on commodity markets.

• Developing sustainability leadership through innovation in packaging, processing efficiencies, reduced losses/waste and novel uses of co-products (net-zero dairy processing plants.

• Extending awareness and consumption of higher value dairy processing products through communications, strategic planning, marketing plans and expanding hands-on agritourism.

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 29. More details are available via the PCC-DBII website.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service funds PCC-DBII, which is hosted by California State University, Fresno.