Technical assistance

Pacific Coast Coalition Announces August 30 Deadline for Dairy Innovation Grant Applications of up to $50,000 in Support of Product Innovation

The information below has been provided by dairy product distributors and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The California Dairy Innovation Center (CDIC), the dairy innovation partner of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), today announced the availability of the first round of grants through the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (DBII) of the Pacific Coast Coalition. Producers and processors can apply until August 30 for up to $50,000 per application for initiatives supporting dairy companies in the development, production, marketing and distribution of dairy products.

Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, DBII-funded initiatives focus on product, process, and packaging innovation and serve to:

  • Diversify dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher value-added uses for dairy products,
  • Promote the development of enterprises that diversify farmers’ incomes through innovation in processing and marketing, and
  • Encourage the use of regional dairy production.

The grants are the first of the USDA’s $1.8 million DBII award that established the Pacific Coast Coalition to support dairy companies in California, Oregon and Washington in the development, production, marketing and the distribution of dairy products.

John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board, said, “These grants provide a tremendous opportunity for producers and processors to think outside the box to prepare and launch bold innovation-driven projects that can have a transformative impact on our industry. And we’re just getting started. This is only the first round of grants and will be supplemented with other opportunities in the near future. »

The grants are available to anyone operating a dairy farm or dairy processing plant in California, but focus on innovation in products, processes, and packaging for manufacturing dairy products. This includes feasibility studies and workforce training. Dairy company innovation initiatives should focus on one or more of the following areas:

  1. Develop new value-added dairy products, including but not limited to culturally diverse and ethnic value-added dairy products to meet changing consumer trends in the region.
  2. Adapt current dairy products and create new value-added products to meet changing consumer “needs” to meet domestic and export demand trends.
  3. Develop new product lines and expand dairy product portfolio to meet domestic and/or export demand for fresh milk and dairy products.
  4. Expand the use of milk beyond food and beverages, e.g. packaging/films, edible pet products, cosmetics and other high value segments. Note: Dairy producers and/or processors may need to partner with non-dairy entities to achieve this goal.
  5. Adding value to milk by increasing its intrinsic value through production system differentiation/food additives for nutritional enhancement and fractionation of components.
  6. Increase the profitability of the sector through the adoption of alternative processing technologies for value-added dairy products, the optimization and/or the recovery of high value-added co-flows.
  7. Create future opportunities for value-added ingredients and nutritional powders, dairy fat products and specialty blends, and reduce reliance on commodity markets.
  8. Develop sustainability leadership through packaging innovation, processing efficiency, loss/waste reduction and new uses for co-products (net-zero dairy processing plants). Note: Applicant dairy producers and/or processors may need to partner with non-dairy entities to achieve this goal).

Proposals can include funding requests for qualified equipment, feasibility studies, packaging innovations as well as workforce training.1 This is a reimbursement program with applicants reimbursed on submission of invoices/receipts for approved projects. Grants are available for applicants throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.

Applications must be submitted by noon on August 30, 2022. The application document is available online here at: Application documents – Google Drive and includes all required forms and templates. Additional questions can be directed to [email protected] or [email protected]

CDIC is a partner of the Pacific Coast Coalition/Fresno State and serves as an advisor in the grant review process. SADC and its Steering Committee also guide and support the implementation of DBII programs which offer hands-on technical assistance to dairy companies, access to a pilot plant and laboratory space/equipment for product testing and innovation , provide hands-on training, fund research, and communicate opportunities for innovation. DBII collaborators hosted by Fresno State include Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Humboldt, UC Davis, and Oregon State. The Pacific Coast Coalition is led by host California State University, Fresno and implements programs in partnership with CDIC and its collaborators.

USDA’s Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) initiative supports dairy companies in the development, production, marketing and distribution of dairy products. DBI initiatives provide direct technical assistance and subsidies to dairy companies, including niche dairy products, such as specialty cheese, or dairy products derived from the milk of a dairy animal, including cow’s milk, sheep and goat.

California leads the nation in dairy production, and milk is the state’s number one agricultural product. California is also a major exporter of dairy products. The Pacific Coast region is home to hundreds of dairy companies that are well positioned to meet the needs of growing markets in Asia and Latin America.

1Additional information on (a) the program and (b) allowable expenses are available at: (a) https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/dbi (b) https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/DBISpecificTermsandConditions.pdf