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OneDairy unites U.S. producers to bring quality ingredients to world

Editor’s note: Welcome to Ingredient Innovation, CMN’s new segment exploring recent innovations and trends in the dairy ingredients sector. For this segment, we will profile a leader in the ingredients industry as well as share updates on mergers and acquisitions and new offerings for cheese and dairy in ingredients — where flavor begins.

Photo courtesy of OneDairy

HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCT — OneDairy offers dry milk products from nonfat dry milk to 99.7% pure lactose from U.S. dairy farmers to customers around the world. With innovative and sustainable farming, the U.S. dairy industry has continued to roll out new dairy products while staying abreast of strict regulations, all while meeting demand for a shifting base of consumers.

Photo courtesy of OneDairy
INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE — Since its creation, OneDairy has been ramping up infrastructure that allows U.S. producers to meet with global suppliers and store American dairy products abroad — all with the goal to reestablish American dairy products as a reliable source that global customers can depend on.

By Alyssa Mitchell

TEMPE, Ariz. — OneDairy, a dairy product trading company based in Tempe, Arizona, launched in 2022 with an ambitious goal — uniting the U.S. dairy industry in a joint effort to bring high-quality ingredients to international markets. Today, the company continues to increase its global footprint as it strives to be as agile as possible while keeping its pulse on dairy ingredient innovation and demand.

OneDairy is a wholly-owned and independently operated subsidiary of United Dairymen of Arizona (UDA).It has a global sales team with strategic locations in Asia, Oceania, Europe, Latin America and the United States. While the standalone entity sells UDA products, it also procures products from other processors throughout the United States.

“That’s where the whole concept for OneDairy came about — how do we establish a trading firm that allows the U.S. dairy farmer, by selling product through OneDairy, to actually have an ownership stake in the profitability of the entity,” explains Ashley Ellixson, chief commercial officer of UDA and a member of OneDairy’s board of managers.

Given her expertise in agricultural law, Ellixson originally was brought on at UDA as vice president of legal and environmental affairs. As chief commercial officer at UDA, Ellixson now oversees the OneDairy team and all of the finished goods it supplies to customers around the world.
OneDairy offers dry milk products from nonfat dry milk to 99.7% pure lactose. It offers a range of milk powders including skim milk powder, milk protein concentrate, buttermilk powder and whey protein concentrate. (For product specifications, visit https://onedairy.com/products/)

Ellixson notes that in creating OneDairy, both UDA team members and UDA farmers collaborated to find a way in which the dairy industry could work together on something in which there was significant upside opportunity.

“There was a lot of money being left on the table for dairy producers through outsourcing, and we wanted to create an outlet to bring money back into the corporate P&Ls (profits and loss statements) as well as the milk checks,” she says. “The core belief was, if we can succeed together on this, we can continue to find more ways to work together to the benefit of the American farmer first.”

By expanding infrastructure, partnering with national suppliers and taking on the weight of sales, marketing, regulatory compliance and logistics, OneDairy aims to meet global demand with the excellence U.S. dairy farmers are known for.

With decades of experience in regional and national dairy, the company’s founders know the rich legacy of U.S. dairy, as well as the challenges facing the industry.

Even with national demand for milk and dairy products being relatively sluggish, U.S. dairy farmers have a reputation for raising the bar, Ellixson says. With innovative and sustainable farming, the industry has continued to roll out new dairy products while staying abreast of strict regulations, all while meeting demand for a shifting base of consumers.

She’s quick to note that OneDairy isn’t about what’s lacking in offerings, “U.S. dairy products are diverse and incredible — just look at the increases in U.S. dairy exports. That’s because we make great dairy!” Ellixson says.

Dairy farmers and their manufacturers continue to search for new ways to increase the value return for their American dairy products marketed throughout the world. This is where OneDairy can help balance both the need to market more volume while also searching for the highest price return, she adds. U.S. manufacturers have the opportunity to earn business from both commodities and value-add products from a diverse country list all seeking attention on differing priorities of price, volume, quality and uniqueness.

“OneDairy is about bridging the gap between geographical variances that create volatility from one year to the next,” she says. “OneDairy is about connecting customers more directly to manufacturers and creating a one-stop shop amongst collaborators who each might have only a few items to shop from. OneDairy is about sharing risk and reward to the benefit of all collaborators.”

Ellixson notes OneDairy can at times be both the best price to a customer and simultaneously a better profit to the manufacturer and better return to the milk check — and that’s what makes OneDairy special, she says.

“OneDairy works to increase visibility and brand value for each product supplier. Because it has various products, qualities/grades and locations of products, it never has to shoehorn something,” she says. “OneDairy always gets the right product to the right customer, which increases customer satisfaction and profitability, alongside brand value. Long term, this also provides suppliers an opportunity to latch onto the brand value of OneDairy and consider marketing product under that banner as well. While that isn’t something being done today, it is the type of brand power afforded to the collaborators in OneDairy.”

Robert Chesler, CEO of UDA, notes the U.S. dairy industry has a great opportunity to gain market share in the global marketplace.

“That’s why we’re taking action to bring American ingredients to the rest of the world,” Chesler says. “We’re creating a single, dependable source of dairy ingredients tailored to the international community, and we’re doing that by partnering with national suppliers and global companies, and by uniting American dairy farmers with a fresh vision of what they can offer to international markets and gain in additional profits.”

Since its creation, OneDairy has been ramping up infrastructure that allows U.S. producers to meet with global suppliers and store American dairy products abroad — all with the goal to reestablish American dairy products as a reliable source that global customers can depend on.

OneDairy’s diversification of dairy products, diversification of origin and diversification of product location can expedite and even reduce costs of delivery, helping to set OneDairy apart from other global suppliers,
Ellixson notes.

“But most of all, what sets OneDairy apart is perhaps a personal touch that accentuates customer centrism. ‘Know Your Customer’ is our motto: know your customers and anticipate their needs, when possible, always be responsive and always be sincere,” she says.

Chesler notes that OneDairy’s vision stretches well into the future.
“Thinking globally and building infrastructure will give our partners at home the incentive to keep on pushing,” he says. “They’ve got a great start because their world-class dairy products are already in high demand.”

Ellixson adds that U.S. milk production is growing faster than the population, and Europe and New Zealand are likely to reduce milk production because of green political initiatives.

“Global demand is still growing, and the United States is best suited to heed the call for more dairy products,” she says. “Our focus is on answering that call with a mind toward collaboration and mutual benefit to all parties involved.”

As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats, so the better the farmers’ milk check is, the stronger the industry is with increased investment going into plant expansions, upgrades and other R&D, Ellixson adds.

“Now is the time to work together on growing the pie, not fighting over the portion of any individual’s slice,” she says. “We can work together to promote U.S. dairy products and customer satisfaction. We can win together for the American farmer and American manufacturing while benefiting the global customer through white glove service and fair pricing.”

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