At the fall 2012 board meeting of the American Butter Institute (ABI) held last week in Las Vegas, David Riemersma of Butterball Farms, Inc. was elected President of ABI, and two new officers were seated.
Irv Holmes of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. was elected to serve as First Vice President, and Dean Van Tuinen of Darigold, Inc. was elected Second Vice President. Each officer will serve a two-year term. The ABI board also welcomed new member High Desert Milk, which officially joined the organization at the fall meeting. In addition, the board elected Randy Robinson of High Desert Milk, Josh White of Hoogwegt, U.S. and William Schreiber of O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc. as new board representatives.
President Riemersma thanked outgoing President Mark Korsmeyer for his service, and the ABI membership for their support. Riemersma stated, "I am pleased to serve the industry in this capacity. The institute represents a real, fresh and natural product that consumers prefer. Recent trends show that there is strong momentum in the category, and it is one that consumers are very interested in." Riemersma acknowledged Korsymeyer's excellent leadership over the last two years. He indicated he would continue to move ABI further down the positive path set by his predecessor by setting up a strategic planning commission to refresh the long term goals of the organization.
In addition to the officer elections, Alan Reed of Dairy Management, Inc. provided an eye-opening report on butter and the changing consumer mindset. Robert Chesler of INTL FCStone's Foods Division presented a report on current events and their influence on consumer demand for U.S. dairy products. ABI's board reviewed and approved their budget for 2013 and received an update on the National Butter Promotion Program's new focus on using social media to promote usage of butter. The ABI board also got an update on the economic and market outlook, reviewed regulatory issues, received a Cooperatives Working Together program update and heard the latest news from Washington, DC.
One of the highlights was a recap of the "Go Bold with Butter" promotion program, which is building momentum and helping increase butter consumption by increasing awareness through use of social media.
ABI's next meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Dairy Products Institute April 28-30, 2013 at Chicago Marriott Downtown in Chicago, IL.
The American Butter Institute (ABI), headquartered in Arlington, VA., represents the marketing, policy, and regulatory interests of the nation's butter manufacturers. ABI's member companies market approximately 95 percent of all the butter manufactured in the United States. Visit www.butterinstitute.org for more information.