Dairy in pole position facing global nutrition challenges

At this year’s edition of EDA’s World Dairy Forum in Stresa (Italy), over 200 leaders of the dairy industry discussed the role of dairy in facing the global nutrition challenges ahead.

Under the umbrella ‘European dairy in a global context’, leaders of the dairy industry worldwide discussed the prominent role dairy will play in feeding the world in the future. The European Dairy Association (EDA) invited various key speakers to discuss the relationship between milk and dairy and the global nutrition challenge ahead at its World Dairy Forum event, held in Stresa last Friday.

Dr. Philippe Ankers, Chief of the Livestock Production Systems Branch at FAO, highlighted the benefits of milk and dairy as vital sources of nutrition for the world in his speech. By bringing forward concrete examples of dairy-based initiatives, such as the school milk programmes in Bangladesh and Myanmar or the exemplary integrated dairy project in Lebanon, Dr. Ankers demonstrated the global benefits of dairy and the dairy industry. The latter is not only a cost-effective means to meet nutrition challenges, but it also creates jobs and reduces poverty in developing countries. Milk and dairy are a vital source of nutrition and represent an income for some 300 million farm families.

For Dr. Jeremy Hill, IDF Chairman and Chief Technology Officer at Fonterra, dairy is the solution to the world’s nutrition security and sustainability problem. Milk and dairy will be crucial in meeting the world’s global challenge of nourishing billions of people with 2 or 3 daily servings of safe and sustainable dairy products. Dr. Hill underlined that, in order to meet the nutrition goals globally, dairy production will need to be tripled by 2050.

“Feeding the planet and an ageing population are the European food industry’s challenges for the future”, confirmed Mrs. Mella Frewen, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope. She gave an overview of FoodDrinkEurope’s activities and highlighted the key role the food industry will be playing in meeting the future nutrition challenges worldwide. Making the food industry more competitive, raising consumer confidence in the food industry and increasing sustainable ways of working in the food industry, are FoodDrinkEurope’s major objectives.

All speakers confirmed that dairy is very well placed to play a major role to meet the global nutrition challenges ahead.

“The discussions on how dairy can meet tomorrow’s nutrition challenges have once more underlined the importance of our industry,”, says Michel Nalet, EDA President. “As a sector we need to continue our efforts to produce safe, qualitative and sustainable products; it is clear that the dairy sector will continue to ensure its prominent role and responsibility in feeding the world population with safe, nutritious, sustainable and delicious dairy products.”

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