Global dairy expertise showcased at World Dairy Summit 2018

23 October 2018


The dairy sector demonstrated their global expertise at the IDF World Dairy Summit 2018 which bore the theme ‘Dairy for the Next Generation!’. The international speakers outlined the dairy sector’s contribution to nutrition and health; food security and safety; as well as sustainability.

Former UN Secretary-General said milk is critical and essential for international efforts to combat poverty and hunger, and that he was deeply impressed that the dairy sector “is moving in a responsible and sustainable direction as a key partner of the international community.”

Speaking on the health effects of dairy fat eaten in a cheese matrix, Dr Emma Feeney of University College Dublin, Ireland, who addressed a conference on Nutrition and Health, said the nature of the food structure in cheese and its nutrients which form its food matrix, will determine the degree of nutrient digestion and absorption. Thus, the food structure of cheese will influence its overall nutritional properties and beneficial health effects.

Food safety experts discussed challenges of food safety and regulation, and the opportunities for standard development organizations such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission and IDF to identify new areas of collaboration, including the revision of existing standards. They also looked at hazards and risks, examining chemical versus microbiological risks, and the role of risk communication and education to promote greater understanding and transparency of harmonized food safety measures for effective implementation.

The conference on farm management focused on biodiversity, animal breeding and future farming. British farmer, David Cotton, stressed the importance of continuous learning to keep up with best practices and advancements in technology. He also projected that major processing will end up in fewer hands over time while climate change will bring other diseases from tropical climes to Europe.

Marketing experts discussed product innovation, food trends and marketing strategies to develop the dairy sector. Dr Gerrit Smit of Yili Innovation Centre Europe outlined dairy innovations in China aimed at driving market demand. He pointed out that the average milk consumption in China is about a fifth of that of Western countries and projected a continued growth of more than 10 per cent in the coming years. Other emerging markets, such as Latin America and Africa, were also discussed, as well as the overall trading environment for milk and dairy products.