In 2011, Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) helped member cooperatives make 280 export sales totaling 92.4 million pounds of cheese, a new benchmark for the Export Assistance program. That total was nearly 20 million pounds higher than exports achieved in 2010, when CWT assisted with 241 export sales totaling 73.9 million pounds of cheese.
CWT continued to play a significant role in exports of American-type cheese in general, and Cheddar cheese specifically. While data for all of 2011 is not yet final, initial analysis indicates that the volume of CWT-assisted Cheddar cheese export shipments in the first ten months of 2011 – 69.7 million pounds – accounted for 76% of Cheddar cheese loaf exports, 79% of American-type cheese exports in loaf form, and 19% of the total cheese exported in all forms.
Dairy product sales assisted by CWT and shipped in 2011 have added an average of 22 cents per hundredweight on all milk marketed. That is an increase in producer revenue of $120 million, according to an analysis by Dr. Scott Brown, University of Missouri and FAPRI.
Asian countries accounted for 35% of the total pounds sold, with Japan taking 84% of the sales volume. The Middle East was close behind, representing 32% of the total tonnage, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 50% of the pounds sold in that region.