MADISON, WIS. – Organizers of CheeseExpo 2024 developed this year’s program to highlight sustainability strategies, ideas and technology, beginning with the opening keynote.

Scheduled for April 16-18 in Milwaukee, the event hosted by Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) is expected to be attended by 4,000-plus dairy processing professionals.

"Sustainability is no longer the wave of the future for dairy processors – it's the here and now,” said John Umhoefer, executive director for WCMA. “Whether you’re just beginning your sustainability efforts, or you’re an experienced professional in the field, there’s no better place to learn and grow than at CheeseExpo.”

Sumeet Mathur, managing director of FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy Americas, will deliver the opening keynote on April 17, sharing the company’s sustainability story. Mathur will address lessons the Dutch cooperative learned while establishing itself as a leader in dairy sustainability. His international industry experience also includes strategic roles with Nestlé.

Another session focusing on sustainability in the supply chain will involve a panel discussion, with contributors Kyle Jensen, vice president of global sales and marketing, Hilmar; Josh Luth, global sustainability lead, Schreiber Foods; and Dr. Michel Wattiaux, University of Wisconsin; joining FrieslandCampina’s Mathur.

Sustainability-centric discussions on April 18 include “Building Your Workforce on an ESG Foundation,” which will showcase research about how sustainability drives career decisions for millennial and Gen Z workers, who are expected to comprise more than 70% of the labor pool within five years.

Additionally, the value of ESG endeavors will be examined by Iassen Donov, associate director of talent acquisition, Leprino Foods; Allison Bolet Cafaro, manager of diversity, equity and inclusion, Great Lakes Cheese Company; and Mathew Bartkowiak, vice president of corporate responsibility and development, Nelson-Jameson.

Suppliers with sustainability solutions also will be set up throughout CheeseExpo’s 134,000-square-foot trade show floor.

Further information on the conference, including registration details, is available via the CheeseExpo website.