Happy World Milk Day! Every year on June 1, the world celebrates the importance, benefits and contribution of dairy to our everyday lives. In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) set aside June 1 as World Milk Day, a day to raise awareness on how the dairy sector is contributing to the world’s economic development, livelihoods, nutrition and environmental sustainability.
In 2023, World Milk Day focuses on showcasing how dairy is reducing its environmental footprint, while also providing nutritious foods and livelihoods. Together, we will drive an active narrative that integrates the environmental, nutritional and societal impacts of the sector.
The global dairy community is accelerating climate action and working to reduce its impact on the planet through initiatives such as Pathways to Dairy Net Zero. This movement is the first of its kind and brings together dairy farms of every size and type, as well as organizations throughout the dairy supply chain. By optimizing productivity and reducing emissions, Pathways to Dairy Net Zero is working to safeguard nutrition security and sustain a billion livelihoods for tomorrow, while helping secure a future for us all.
Dairy is packed with several important nutrients like calcium for strong teeth and bones, phosphorus, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin D and as such can be used to meet the nutritional requirements of the young and old. Moreover, it is an excellent source of protein. Did you know that dairy is also good for the heart? Research shows that dairy products are associated with reduced risk of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Probiotic dairy products such as yoghurt are also beneficial to the digestive system.
The dairy industry is a major source of employment especially in developing countries. Statistics show that 240 million people are employed in the dairy sector. An additional 400 million people are supported by full-time jobs created by the dairy sector. 600 million people live on dairy farms around the world. In all, at least 1 billion people are economically impacted by activities of the dairy industry. The dairy industry supports the livelihoods of many people living in low-income countries, such as India which is currently the world’s largest milk producer. More women especially are being empowered economically through dairy farming. Already, some 80 million women are involved in dairy farming globally.
This year, as the dairy sector shares their sustainability stories with us, we also share them with the world using the #WorldMilkDay and #EnjoyDairy hashtags. If you’re curious to hear from those working in the industry, check out the videos for voices of the field.
Most importantly, let us raise a glass of milk to all those who ensure our glasses and gallons are always full, our mouths continue to savor every ‘cheesy’ moment, our bread is buttered daily, and we do not cease to enjoy dairy even in these difficult times.
Cheers to our hard-working dairy farmers!