The team at DFW continues to put forward and deliver on a focused strategy that the board unanimously supports. They continue to collaborate and build alignment with key industry groups including The Dairy Federation, Save Family Farming, regional and national Checkoff, and our processors including Darigold. Board engagement is high, and our staff listens—they operate with transparency and enthusiasm about the work and bring the expertise needed to get the job done.
2021 brought many challenges for dairy including supply chain issues, inclement weather and increased input costs, but we are confident that the investment we all make in DFW is increasing consumer support and ensuring we have a viable market for the future. If you haven’t met the staff or your board representative, or you want to learn more about Checkoff, please reach out. A DFW board and staff member chart is included in the report.
— DFW Board of Directors
In 2021, DFW continued to focus on building trust with our target consumers, including Gen Z and Millennial parents, by highlighting dairy’s environmental sustainability and wellness benefits. We positioned dairy as a sustainable source of nutrition, instilling dairy as something everyone can enjoy knowing it is good for them, their community and the planet.
Annual Report Highlights: Consumer trust survey, nutrition marketing, youth programs, digital content
DFW focused on driving dairy demand and incremental sales, by employing diverse strategies to maximize sales opportunities. We targeted multiple channels including e-commerce, retail partnerships, food insecurity and more. Through these efforts, we fostered collaboration and executed programs that helped support and drive dairy sales in the Northwest.
Annual Report Highlights: 2021 dairy sales snapshot, NW milk revitalization partnership, promotional events, addressing food insecurity
In 2021 Dairy Farmers of Washington continued to advance our strategy with programs focused on building trust and ultimately driving sales for Washington dairy. We worked seamlessly with our national partners at DMI (Dairy Management Inc.) to ensure execution of a unified strategy that maximizes your 15-cent investment and drives results locally, nationally and globally.
To build trust we focused our marketing efforts on the next generation of consumers, which includes Gen Z and Millennial Parents, by meeting them where they are at with targeted digital content that’s relevant to them. Our research indicates these consumers are unsure if dairy is good for them or if it’s produced responsibly. We created and deployed targeted content to reclaim the narrative. We reinforced that dairy delivers key functional wellness benefits backed by science and is committed to the environment with stories about on-farm practices and progress toward the 2050 Dairy Environmental Stewardship Goals. In a complementary effort, we introduced an annual consumer sentiment study this year that will allow us to track key reputational areas we’re targeting to see if we’re moving the needle.
To drive sales we continued to serve as a partner for our local processors and brands by creating opportunities to drive catalytic growth in key channels for dairy. This year we focused heavily on e-commerce, seeking to build on the rapid expansion brought on by the pandemic, and saw promising results. With foodservice recovering [+24% (vs. 1-YA) vs. one year ago], the massive retail sales spike of 2020 came back to earth. We worked with our partners to maintain as much of that growth as possible with retail campaigns and promotions (+5.7% IRI data vs. 2 years ago). 2021 saw dairy exports grow in volume (+10% vs. 1-YA) and value (+18% vs. 1-YA) nationally. Exports are crucial for the future of dairy in Washington, and we are focused on continuing to grow those opportunities by supporting key export initiatives.
Great things are on the horizon. We continue to focus on being an organization that fosters and builds partnerships that amplify our reach and help ensure a viable future for our farmers. We have a great story to tell and the DFW team is excited to get out there and tell it.
Steve Seppi, Executive Director