Cooperative Resources International (CRI) hosted 17 delegates from the Chinese dairy industry as part of a USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Emerging Markets Program (EMP), a program focused on innovative export market development initiatives to promote U.S. agricultural goods and services in emerging markets.

The Chinese delegates attended the first of three phases of CRI's EMP program. The group included individuals from four of the region's largest dairy farms and leading dairy food processors, provincial ministry of agriculture officials, and university dairy research and extension teams.

The goal of CRI's EMP involvement is to study dairy industry changes in China, position CRI and other U.S. agribusinesses to support and lead that change, and demonstrate and deliver dairy herd management education to ensure optimum performance of prodigy from CRI genetics.

The Chinese dairy sector holds large potential for U.S. export market development due to its current restructuring which is driving vertical market integration from conception-to-consumption. Lead by consumer demand and safe food policies and accelerated by growing populations, rising incomes, scarcer resources and gaping carbon footprints, the country is attempting to consolidate its dairy industry in a short time period. Chinese dairy processors are replacing a few million 10-cow herds with a couple hundred 10,000-head industrial-scale modern dairies.

The transformation of the Chinese dairy industry provides large potential for U.S. agribusinesses. At the same time, as is a focus of CRI's EMP activities, U.S. agriculture exporters must have progressive business strategies in place to be best serve this modern Chinese dairy industry.

CRI, a member-owned holding cooperative, is comprised of two subsidiaries: AgSource Cooperative Services and Genex Cooperative, Inc. The CRI mission statement summarizes the goal of CRI: "To provide products and services as effectively as possible to maximize the profitability of members and customers worldwide while maintaining a strong cooperative."