Dairy’s Sustainability and Innovation Story
In 2001 the United Nations declared June 1 as World Milk Day to spark conversation on the contribution of the Dairy industry to Nutrition, Community and Livelihoods, and the Environment globally. The year 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of World Milk Day celebrations and despite the restrictions from the pandemic, the virtual commemoration was largely successful. The hashtag #WorldMilkDay reached 842 million impressions for the global campaign (including #EnjoyDairy plus 17 translations and local hashtags) with over 60,000 posts on various social media platforms! From May 29 to June 1, the Enjoy Dairy Rally and World Milk Day celebrated the benefits of milk and dairy products around the world. 416 campaigns took place in 68 countries.
It is for good reason that such an industry is popular and recognized for its work and contribution to billions of lives. The dairy sector plays a key role in the lives of many when it comes to nutrition. Many children enjoy a dairy-based food at least once each day and because it is rich in calcium, phosphorus, protein, and other key nutrients, it aids in their growth and development. Research has also shown that milk intake decreases the likelihood of developing childhood obesity, cardiovascular diseases, or type 2 diabetes.
The industry also plays a major role in the livelihoods of millions of people. 1 billion people are supported in one way or the other through the dairy sector. There are over 100 million dairy farms globally. 600 million people are reportedly living on these farms and an additional 400 million people are supported by the full-time jobs created by dairy farming. Without dairy, many people would suffer.
This year, the dairy industry wishes to tell the world their sustainability story. Dairy farming is becoming more efficient with innovations aiding farmers in reducing their carbon footprint. Although there has been a 30% increase in dairy production, emissions per unit of production are falling. In the American dairy industry for instance, the carbon footprint of one gallon of milk is 19% less than it used to be a decade ago. That’s equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by half a million acres of U.S. forest every year. The U.S. dairy industry is also working to achieve carbon neutrality or better, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050. The industry is already part of the solution to limit climate change.
Emerging Ag on behalf of the Global Dairy Platform is tasked to coordinate a global social media campaign that brings different actors around the world to raise awareness and celebrate the day. As a company that amplifies the voice of farmers, we are more than happy to showcase all the various ways our dairy farmers are doing their best to take care of the environment. As we celebrate World Milk Day, starting with the Enjoy Dairy rally on May 29 and culminating the celebrations on June 1, let us celebrate the farmers who make it possible for you and me to enjoy dairy along with all its benefits every day. Let us raise our glasses of milk to all players of the dairy industry from the farmer to the chef.