ARLINGTON, VA. – The US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) announced the renewal of their partnership.

The two groups first signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) three years ago. An addendum signed on April 5, 2022, extended the partnership for three more years.

The two organizations also updated the language of their partnership to put more of an emphasis on collaborating on sustainability and food systems issues.

“It is successful partnerships like these that help deliver science-based regulations, while reducing unnecessary trade barriers,” said Krysta Harden, president and chief executive officer of USDEC. “Our recent trip to Colombia and Peru reinforced the exceptional importance of this region and we are proud to extend this partnership with IICA.”

Added Manuel Otero, director general of IICA: “We grow stronger when our region is able to speak with one voice. That is why it is essential we work together to harmonize science-based health, safety, sustainability and quality standards. We are delighted to build upon the continued success of our previous cooperation with USDEC.”

The USDEC and IICA first came together to bolster cooperation and promote science-based regulations across food and agriculture trade policies. The MOU between the organizations further built upon an agreement USDEC signed with the Pan American Dairy Federation, which gave the USDEC another channel through with it could engage with stakeholders in Latin America.

Per USDEC data, US Dairy exports to Latin America grew 17% in 2021.

“IICA has long been a leader in the region, delivering technical support and expertise throughout the Americas,” said Jaime Castaneda, executive vice president of policy development and strategy for USDEC. “As the world’s attention continues to turn to sustainability, IICA is perfectly positioned to continue that leadership, offering the tools nations need to ensure new regulations are grounded in science.”