The team at Dairy Farmers of Washington (DFW) approached 2022 focused on innovation and collaboration—working closely with our farmers, processors, and partners to build consumer trust and ultimately drive sales for Washington dairy. As you will see in the report ahead, we addressed barriers to consumption by positioning dairy as a sustainably nutritious product with thought leaders, we built trust by engaging consumers with positive dairy messaging through influencers and directly through relevant channels, and we drove incremental sales for the category by creating innovative channel opportunities for our brands.
We celebrated two retirements this year—Jeff Steele (19 years) and Debra French (43 years!), both of whom will leave a legacy of positive impact on the industry. We also welcomed three new employees and have an excellent team in place who are passionate about the work and dedicated to maximizing your investment.
I’m incredibly proud of the work that the team at DFW did on your behalf in 2022. We look forward to continuing to be your voice in the marketplace and commit to executing a strategy that delivers results.
Steve Seppi, Executive Director
Our team’s longstanding priority has been to grow and protect trust in dairy with consumers. This work continued as we created content to reach our target audience, Gen Z and Millennial Parents, focusing on dairy’s relevance as part of their daily lives and how dairy fits in a sustainable nutrition system.
Annual Report Highlights: digital media, experiential, community partnerships, sustainable nutrition positioning.
As the dairy landscape continues to evolve, our 2022 sales efforts focused on driving sales demand across channels and establishing programs and partnerships to improve accessibility of dairy throughout the state.
Annual Report Highlights: e-commerce, retail, improving access to dairy, domestic milk, international partnerships
This past year our dairy farmers continued to show resilience and above all else, dedication to taking care of their cows and people while producing the best product out there. Milk prices were elevated throughout the year; however, challenges came in the form of input costs due to geopolitical and supply chain issues. Despite the headwinds, there is a lot to be optimistic about. Dairy is a powerhouse category as indicated by record domestic consumption of 667 lbs. per capita (milkfat equivalent basis) and household penetration of 96%. Additionally, exports showed significant growth—18% of U.S. dairy production was exported in 2022 with total volume up 5% and value up 25% to $9.6 billion.
As you will see in this report, our checkoff investment is making a difference. I am confident in the board and the leadership of this organization, and I have seen firsthand how the staff tells our story to consumers and collaborates across the supply chain to generate sales. If you have any questions or input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of our board members.
— Lynne Wheeler, Chair