The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) will now manage the licensing and use of the REAL Seal, one of the most iconic and recognizable product integrity logos used in the food industry.
Effective March 15, 2012, the management of the REAL Seal program was transferred from the United Dairy Industry Association to NMPF. This change was the result of an agreement between the two organizations that the transfer was the best opportunity to place a renewed emphasis on highlighting the importance and value of American-made dairy foods.
“The REAL Seal was created more than 30 years ago to help consumers distinguish between real and artificial cheeses, as the pizza category was really taking off,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. “Today, a generation later, we still see a need to differentiate American-made dairy products from imports, and real dairy foods from those made with soy or rice or even hemp. Our management of this labeling program will benefit consumers, as well as the farmers who have a direct stake in how their milk is marketed.”
One of NMPF's primary missions “is protecting the integrity and overall value of U.S. dairy products. NMPF has expertise in food labeling requirements and the regulatory process affecting dairy product standards,” Kozak noted. “With NMPF's link to dairy producers and its dedication to protecting dairy product integrity, NMPF will be able to provide valuable insight that will allow for growth of the program,” he said.
While the program will not undergo any immediate changes, Kozak said the process has begun to determine how to make the REAL Seal an even more effective marketing tool for dairy product manufacturers, dairy product processors, food processors and food service providers.
“Consumers continue to express an interest in food quality and integrity, through the choices they make at grocery stores and restaurants,” Kozak said. “Labeling is an integral part of creating and maintaining a dialogue with them.”
As a result of this change in management, “the program will now strive to educate new generations of dairy consumers about the significance of the REAL Seal, revitalizing the brand and talking to them about the good taste, nutritional value, and wholesomeness associated with dairy foods and dairy food ingredients made from milk produced in the United States,” he said.