Countdown to World Milk Day
World Milk Day falls on a Saturday this year, so I thought I’d remind you all so that you can get the bunting out this week and put the halloumi cheese burgers on the barbecue. Washed down with a glass of milk, no doubt. Cheddar is also a nice option for burger toppings.
In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) selected 1 June as World Milk Day, which celebrates the important contributions of the dairy sector to sustainability, economic development, livelihoods and nutrition. Each one of you can contribute to raise awareness on how important milk is for healthy nutrition, knowing that the dairy sector supports the livelihoods of up to one billion people worldwide.
I don’t know about you, but every time I think of the fact that one in seven people in the world are involved in the dairy sector, either directly or indirectly, it kind of blows my small mind. There is a lot of responsibility and work to be done, and as we’ve seen over in the US, the sector suffers when governments fail to understand how important dairy is to everyday life. World Dairy Day is a reminder of this key fact.
This year’s celebrations will range from visiting a children’s home in Nairobi, Kenya with milk, to organising several activities during June 1 to promote milk drinking especially among children and women in Uttar Pradesh, India. There, visits of students to dairy farms of progressive dairy farmers will occur, and rallies in villages held to raise awareness about drinking milk for good health, while distributing leaflets on safe and hygienic milk consumption, among other events.
Over in Canada, Saputo is hosting a dairy get together, with fun dairy props, dairy product tasting, a toastie truck and milkshake bikes for its employees. For consumers in Canada, teams of employees will visit local charities and cook a nutritious recipe made out of dairy products for people in need. In the US, volunteers from each department will package up cheese samples to donate to a local food bank affiliated with the Feeding America programme, and in Australia, Saputo is supporting the Rumbling Tummies & School Breakfast Programme. Meanwhile, in Argentina, employees will lead an informative session about healthy eating and donate products to a kids club. That is just one dairy company’s efforts.
Overall, in 2018 there were 586 events in 72 countries on World Milk Day, and I suspect it will be even bigger this year. As for myself, I plan to raise a glass and drink to dairy’s health on the day. And put some halloumi on to grill. Get out the tzatziki. Oh, mustn’t forget the ice cream for pudding…