UN: The dairy industry is crucial for a sustainable development of the globe

Milk production is a key part of the efforts to eliminate poverty and provide the world's population with safe and healthy food, according to a joint statement by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, and the International Dairy Federation, IDF.

Jeremy Hill, IDF (left) and Ren Weng, FAO, after signing the Rotterdam declaration.
Jeremy Hill, IDF (left) and Ren Weng, FAO, after signing the Rotterdam declaration.

”The dairy sector plays a key role in the implementation of the sustainable development goals from the United Nations 2030 agenda.”

The quote was pronounced by Ren Wang, Assistant Director-General of the United Nations Organization FAO, when he, along with Jeremy Hill, retiring president of the International Dairy Federation, IDF, signed a joint declaration on the dairy industry's contribution to the planet's development  – the "Rotterdam Declaration".

The declaration was signed in connection with IDF's annual meeting of the World Dairy Summit in Rotterdam.

Livelihood for one billion people 

The Declaration recognizes the important contribution of the dairy sector to provide healthy and safe food to the world's population. At the same time, the sector's socio-economic importance is emphasized - not least in the third world. About 80mn women are engaged in milk production, and the industry forms the basis of 240mn jobs worldwide. This means that about one billion people's livelihoods are supported by the sector.

Room for improvement

In the declaration, the dairy sector also commits itself to make the milk and dairy production more sustainable, and in particular to make efforts for small productions.

”We must recognize that the dairy sector is not perfect and that there still are significant opportunities for efficiency improvements and improvements that can increase the sustainability of the value chain,” said IDF-president Jeremy Hill in connection with the signing.

”I am convinced that we will look back on this declaration as a landmark in dairy history," he said, pointing to the underlining of the text on the milk and dairy industry's influence and importance to the world.