Essential Infrastructure: Necessity of Dry Ice for the Global Dairy Processing Industry

WCMA News ,

To: Federal and State Officials
From: Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association

Summary

  • Dairy cultures are an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
  • Companies in Wisconsin produce the majority of the world’s supply of dairy cultures.
  • Dairy cultures must be kept in a super-frozen state to be viable.
  • Culture manufacturers and distributors in Wisconsin use 350,000 pounds of dry ice per week to supply dairy manufacturers worldwide.
  • Members of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association call on federal and state officials to safeguard a necessary supply of dry ice – 350,000 pounds per week – to ensure the uninterrupted global production of dairy products.

At Issue

Some COVID-19 vaccines currently in development rely on genetic material which must be kept at an extremely cold temperature, approximately -80 degrees Celsius, to remain viable. An as- yet uncalculated amount of dry ice will be needed to develop, transport, and store COVID-19 vaccine for broad distribution, with demand building in the near future. In advance of such infrastructure pressure, WCMA members wish to make clear that the global dairy processing industry relies on access to dry ice, and dry ice is essential for uninterrupted dairy processing.

Major manufacturers in Wisconsin – Chr. Hansen, DSM Food Specialties USA and DuPont Nutrition and Health – produce the majority of the world’s supply of dairy cultures, a necessary ingredient in the production of cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. Dairy cultures must be frozen and stored at sub-zero temperatures until they are used. Culture manufacturers and distributors in Wisconsin are significant users of dry ice, requiring 350,000 pounds each week.

As the U.S. plans for critical new demands on the nation’s dry ice supply, 350,000 pounds of dry ice per week must be reserved for use by the dairy industry, which is responsible not only for $620 billion in economic impact in the United States, but also for feeding the world each day.

Please direct questions to Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association:

  • Executive Director John Umhoefer at jumhoefer@wischeesemakers.org or 608-225-7130

  • Policy Director Rebekah Sweeney at rsweeney@wischeesemakers.org or 608-386-3012