IDF launches special UN Food Systems Summit edition of Dairy Sustainability Outlook series

Image courtesy of the IDF

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has launched the 4th edition of its Dairy Sustainability Outlook series, which provides new case studies to support the dairy sector in delivering on its commitment to sustainable development, guided by the five action tracks of the UN Food Systems Summit.

Sustainable development is a collective effort that depends on collaboration between governments, international organisations, and the private sectors, along with individuals. Finding new ways to reduce impact on environment, manage resources efficiently and increase benefits to biodiversity and bioeconomy is a crucial part of the commitment of the dairy sector for continuous improvement.

Released on 26 July 2021  to coincide with the first day of the UN Food Systems Summit Pre-Summit in Rome, the IDF Dairy Sustainability Outlook 4 is a special edition, dedicated to the United Nations Food Systems Summit. Guided by five Action Tracks of the Summit, case studies from the dairy community are presented, showcasing how the sector is committed to nourishing the global population with safe and nutritious foods through sustainable production systems.

Guiding the future of food production

The United Nations Food Systems Summit, which is being convened this September by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, is stimulating dialogues and generating actions on the future of food production and consumption.

The commitment of the global dairy sector to the UN Sustainable Development Goals was formaliaed by the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam signed by IDF and the FAO in 2016. The dairy sector has been dynamic and innovative to nourish the world with safe, nutritious, and sustainable dairy. The IDF Dairy Sustainable Outlook series provides some examples of programmes, activities and projects implemented by the dairy sector around the world. This fourth edition features examples based on the Action Track structure of the UN Food Systems Summit.

The global dairy sector has been actively engaged in the preparation of the UN Food Systems Summit and submitted game changing solutions that could be scaled up to make the food systems better, including School Milk Programs, Dairy Sustainability Framework, Net Zero, Pathways to Low Carbon Dairy, Dairy Nourishes Africa and Protein Quality.

Recognising the important role of dairy

Milk and dairy food production and consumption are a crucial part of sustainable food systems and to achieving the SDG 2030 agenda. The new 4th edition of the IDF Dairy Sustainability Outlook includes 17 global case studies which demonstrate dairy’s contribution.

Commenting on the edition, IDF director general Caroline Emond said: “The UN Food Systems Summit and Pre-Summit are an important opportunity to focus attention on milk and raise awareness of dairy’s part in healthy diets, responsible food production, and supporting livelihoods and communities. As you will see in this edition, Dairy is part of the solution!”

Dairy as a food systems game-changer

The edition looks at how dairy contributes to global health and wellness by delivering vital nutrition in the form of high-quality protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Case studies also demonstrate how dairy helps reduce poverty and contribute to nutritional security; and how global dairy production is part of critical infrastructure. Without dairy animals inhabiting and grazing land and transforming grass, by-products, and inedible plants into nutritious milk, a pasture that is highly productive would become unproductive grassland, and land degradation and biodiversity losses may occur.

The edition also shows clearly how dairy is a staple food with traditions deeply woven into societies all around the world. The versatility and affordability of milk and dairy products allow for varied use and incorporation into various dietary patterns and across different cultures. This is supported by FAO data showing that more than one billion people’s livelihoods are supported by the dairy sector and that dairy is consumed by more than six billion people globally.

IDF Dairy Sustainability Outlook edition 4 is free to all and can be downloaded from the IDF website.

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