‘Milk is Perfection’ today and for the next generation

23 October 2018

The keynote speaker of the IDF World Dairy Summit 2018 set the tone of the five-day event when he declared that ‘Milk is Perfection’, echoing the words of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon who opened the annual Summit in Daejeon, Korea, on 15 October stressed that milk is an important nutritional food during his opening address to a 700-strong audience.

“Even from the early days, people understood the nutritional value of milk, and today, milk is a primary food staple for the world’s population of more than 7 billion people,” said Mr Ban.

He also noted that the dairy sector “plays a leading role in international efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate poverty and hunger, and to construct a sustainable world where humanity can enjoy better education, healthcare and equality.”

ISO Secretary General Sergio Mujica

I was also heartened by the videotaped message from the Secretary General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Sergio Mujica, acknowledging IDF’s pivotal role in promoting ISO standards among its members worldwide and our useful contributions to the formulation of international standards and guidelines for the dairy sector.

He said: “This strong collaboration between the IDF and ISO continues through the development of joint standards for methods of analysis and sampling for dairy products, which brings together dairy expertise and standardization to enhance compliance in food safety and quality.”

Joining the accolades was Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt who noted that IDF serves as “an essential technical advisor on all issues related to milk and milk products”.

He emphasized the continued need for globally harmonized rules to facilitate business.

“There is a lot to do to achieve safe, good food in every home all the time. We need partners to distribute the tasks strategically. For milk and milk products, it will be with IDF.”

With around 120 speakers from around the world addressing close to 40 sessions in various conferences during the Summit, much has been gained from their expertise. Speakers and delegates discussed the role of dairy in sustainable diets as well as the contribution of milk and dairy products to the UN Sustainable Devevelopment Goals, particularly zero hunger, ending poverty, good health and well-being, gender equality and livelihoods.

There were special sessions on the school milk programme; nutrition and health; food safety; environment; farm management; animal health and welfare; dairy policies and economics; and marketing, which attracted a lot of interest.

The talks were enlightening, their insights were thought-provoking, and their innovative spirits were inspiring.

From Daejeon, we look forward to seeing you in Istanbul at next year’s World Dairy Summit from 23 to 26 September 2019!

Caroline Emond
IDF Director General