Ireland is sustainable
New research from Ireland’s National Dairy Council (NDC) shows that when it comes to living a healthy, modern lifestyle, young Irish adults think that milk is the perfect fit.
Like a lot of countries, Ireland’s intake of dairy products has increased for the under 35s during the pandemic (by 48%), the study by its NDC showed. The perception of milk as a sustainable product has also increased, with more than 50% of the people agreeing.
Nearly one-third of adults without children said consumption of dairy products increased since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, and almost half of the adults with children saw their consumption go up by nearly 50%.
The country’s consumers support the products, according to Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of the NDC: “Our research shows that almost four in ten [39%] consumers under 35 have increased their consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt during the Covid-19 pandemic. On top of this, almost all consumers [88%] state that Irish dairy produce is superior to other countries produce and [82%] want the Irish dairy sector to be successful and supported into the future.”
Interestingly, any negative attitude of millenials towards dairy does not extend to cheese in Ireland, with more consuming cheese than last year. This appears to be a common feature among this generation, as cheese is just very difficult to replicate properly using coconut oil or any other dairy substitute. I won’t discuss the food mile implications of using coconuts versus milk either – just that it’s very hard to get that nice, non-greasy dairy flavour out of a coconut, versus a cheese product.
But meanwhile, supporting Irish dairy means supporting local producers, and a grass-based, family farming system. Sustainability is not just a feature of dairy farming in Ireland – it’s built into the system.
- Suzanne Christiansen, editor, Dairy Industries International.
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