When much of your global business depends on predictability and well established international trade agreements, it isn’t a big surprise that the trajectory of the current US administration may be throwing a spanner in the works.
“Our biggest concern is over NAFTA and the general trade policy of this administration,” said Sue Taylor, VP Economics and Policy for Leprino Foods Company, at a Denver IBC meeting earlier this month. NAFTA has until now been a boon for the dairy industry, she added.
Talks to discuss a possible renegotiation of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are due to reconvene in November but are currently at an impasse, according to multiple reports. President Trump has signaled he is willing to break up the agreement and that possibility remains on the table even as renegotiation remains the most favored option.
Leprino is the world’s largest manufacturer of mozzarella cheese and a significant producer of whey and lactose. . From its humble origins in Denver where Mike Leprino operated a small grocery store, the company has expanded to serve over 40 countries worldwide. Its current headquarters is located on the same site as that first family grocery store.
The company established a regional hub in Singapore in 2011 and also recently established a distribution center for the Middle East in Dubai, Taylor said. Much of the company’s international focus is now in Asia Pacific .China is of course of major interest too, particularly as the government there is increasingly focusing on the importance of nutrition. Mexico and Latin America remain important markets.