Twenty years ago, World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to recognize the importance of milk as a global food, and to celebrate the dairy sector.
Each year since, the benefits of milk and dairy products have been actively promoted around the world, including how dairy supports the livelihoods of one billion people. This year’s overarching theme is the 20th Anniversary of World Milk Day, with a focus on the benefits of dairy with regards to health and nutrition, affordability and accessibility, and the sector’s passion and commitment for feeding the world’s communities. As COVID-19 continues to restrict movement of people around the globe, creative solutions were required to celebrate this important anniversary.
Today (1 June), IDF hosted a virtual ’Raise a glass to World Milk Day’ event, which brought together representatives of the dairy sector from around the globe to acknowledge the day and pay tribute to milk and the multiple benefits it brings to society. Milk is one of the most produced and valuable agricultural commodities worldwide, providing essential nutrients and are an important source of high-quality protein, and fats, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals. The benefits of milk to society are 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. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is a global food.
IDF Director General, Caroline Emond said: ”World Milk Day is such an important event for the dairy sector, providing an opportunity to focus attention on milk and raise awareness of dairy’s part in healthy diets, responsible food production, and supporting livelihoods and communities. However, with traditional events and meetings not possible this year, we instead brought our dairy experts together with a digital celebration of milk and its multiple benefits for society. We’re thrilled we were able to acknowledge World Milk Day 2020 in this way and thank all the IDF dairy experts who were able to take part.”
The International Dairy Federation had a second cause for celebration today, with the news that IDF expert Dr Jeremy Hill has been awarded Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to the dairy sector.
IDF President Dr Judith Bryans said: ”On behalf of the IDF community I would like to congratulate Jeremy on being awarded this honour. Jeremy, a former President of the IDF and a longstanding member of the IDF, has been a major contributor to the dairy sector for many years. Jeremy has always strived to ensure that good quality science is at the forefront of decisions on dairy. He deserves this honour and as an IDF family we send him our best wishes on this very special day!”
Dr Hill served as President and Chairman of the Board of the International Dairy Federation (IDF), between 2012-2016, Dr Hill was a key contributor to the development of the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam, co-signed with the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, a commitment for sustainable and environmentally friendly dairy production. To discover more about World Milk Day celebrations within IDF, see World Milk Day