YLFA works in close collaboration with several countries whose aim is that specific categories of fermented milks like Ayran and Doogh are defined by regional Codex Standards.


YLFA strives to foster the development of International Guidelines on ‘probiotic micro-organisms’ to provide companies and regulatory authorities with a workable framework.

YLFA advocates for national definitions of yoghurts and fermented milks complying with the Codex standard. YLFA is pursuing a long-term strategy to shape the dialogue on the specific category of living micro-organisms.


YLFA played a key role in the decision taken by the European Commission in 2012 to entitle live yoghurts  to bear the claim "Live cultures in yoghurt or fermented milk improve lactose digestion of the product in individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose".

YLFA advocates for the recognition of probiotics as an established category of micro-organisms, according to the definition agreed by the FAO/WHO in 2001. At European level, YLFA is advocating for authorization by the European Commission for a clear regulatory status for this category.

YLFA took position on the labelling of Microbial Food Cultures as regards to the European legislation.  This intensive work provided a consensual framework to all national authorities across Europe who took positions accordingly.

YLFA obtained an amendment of the Codex Standard that defines the drinks based on fermented milks category (which includes probiotic drinks) as a dairy product. This marked a historical milestone for YLFA as it led to the final adoption in 2010 of the International Standard on fermented milk.

YLFA International was officially established as an non-profit international association.

The Codex Alimentarius adopted an international standard defining fermented milks and yoghurts as products containing live and active culture. YLFA was instrumental in influencing key stakeholders towards the adoption of this standard. In particular, YLFA successfully lobbied for the Codex Standard to ensure that yoghurts are live products.


YLFA International was initiated by Yoplait, Yakult, Nestlé and Danone in Paris as a platform to defend joint interests during the Codex Alimentarius negotiations, which aimed to harmonise an international standard on milk and cultured dairy products.

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