Yili scoops two IDF Dairy Innovation Awards as the biggest winner among dairy producers

On 12 September, the IDF World Dairy Summit 2022 was convened in New Delhi, India. Zhang Jianqiu, CEO of Yili Group, delivered a virtual speech at the World Dairy Leaders’ Forum and attended the “Dairy in the Next 25 Years” panel discussion.

Representing the industry’s most prestigious honor, the IDF Dairy Innovation Awards are presented simultaneously with the Summit. Among 144 entries, Yili was the only dairy producer in the world to receive two innovation awards. The Yili Food Safety Risk Analysis Model received the innovation award for food safety and Yili Drinkable Cheese received the innovation award for new product development. Yili’s low-temperature sterilization and concentration technology and Yili Cute Star precision nutrition formula innovation were also included as finalists for the awards of “Innovation in Sustainable Processing” and “Innovation in Research & Development – Consumer Nutrition”, respectively.

In his speech themed “Ushering in Green Growth and Moving Towards a Net-Zero Carbon Future”, Zhang Jianqiu said, “To contribute to a net-zero carbon future, the dairy industry should develop net-zero carbon products and build a net-zero carbon supply chain by following a green growth path and embracing digital transformation. Sustainable development of the global dairy industry will add new momentum to the global economy.”

Innovation with a consumer-centred philosophy

Commenting on Yili’s accomplishment, Song Kungang, Honorary Chairman of the IDF China National Committee, said that the key lies in Yili’s consumer-oriented approach, leveraging the strengths of its whole supply chain and promoting industry development as a dairy leader.

The Yili Food Safety Risk Analysis Model pioneers the application of three core technologies, namely early identification of food safety risks, three-graded food safety risk monitoring, and tiered quality control, to ensure the whole-lifecycle safety of products. The model has been operating for six years at Yili, facilitating the company to meet the world-class standard in quality management.

Yili Drinkable Cheese, inspired by infants’ breastfeeding habits, has changed the game of “eating cheese”. By applying innovative formula and processing techniques, Yili transformed the nutritious cheese into a liquid state. This breakthrough in dairy innovation improved children’s cheese consumption experience, and the product won over millions of consumers in the first year of launch.

In addition, Yili’s low-temperature sterilization and concentration technology, a finalist for this year’s awards, can effectively reduce the loss of nutritional elements, costs, and waste of raw materials. Another finalist, Cute Star, rich in trace elements, not only meets consumers’ diversified needs but also alleviates the problem of “hidden hunger” caused by calcium deficiency.

Sustainable dairy

At the panel session, Zhang Jianqiu said that the dairy industry will be healthier, greener, and more innovative in the future. Ultimately, as a nature-based, health-oriented, people-centered industry, it must take up more social responsibilities and build a green-development business model to contribute more to humanity’s sustainability.

To date, Yili has taken net-zero actions such as conducting carbon inventory assessments for 12 consecutive years, launching a series of net-zero carbon products and building intelligent pastures and net-zero carbon factories by leveraging digital technologies. The company also released its net-zero carbon roadmap and initiated the Net-Zero Carbon Alliance among global partners. Integrating industrial and urban functions, the Yili Modern Intelligent Health Valley has also been recognized as China’s first net-zero carbon demonstration area.

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