Syn­thetic re­place­ment big­gest threat to dairy

Dairy News Australia - - NEWS -

THE BIG­GEST fu­ture threat to the world dairy in­dus­try could be the pos­si­bil­ity of sci­en­tists repli­cat­ing dairy milk’s nu­tri­tional pro­file syn­thet­i­cally in lab­o­ra­to­ries. This was one of the thoughts of­fered at a Dairy Con­nect pro­ducer work­shop last month fea­tur­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Global Dairy Plat­form, Don­ald Moore. Syn­thetic milk would be a far greater chal­lenge to pro­duc­ers than the cur­rent cross-gen­er­a­tional move­ment to re­place an­i­mal-sourced foods with plant-sourced foods, he said. Mr Moore heads up a team of five that goes to work in Chicago each week with the pri­mary mis­sion of build­ing the power and reach of the dairy in­dus­try around the world. He has spent the past 17 years in dairy, 10 years of which were servicing in­ter­na­tional mar­kets at a se­nior man­age­ment level work­ing for Fon­terra out of New Zealand. The chal­lenges fac­ing the in­dus­try in ‘de­vel­oped’ mar­kets were rea­son­ably uni­form in most coun­tries and th­ese in­cluded the rise and rise of plant-sourced milk al­ter­na­tives. Emerg­ing economies faced a whole raft of dif­fer­ent chal­lenges with a lack of in­dus­trial and com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture and softer nu­tri­tional ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams, he said. He told the pro­ducer work­shop that with a world pop­u­la­tion of 7 ½ bil­lion in 2017, dairy ‘sup­ported’ around one bil­lion peo­ple in­ter­na­tion­ally. “Around the world, six bil­lion peo­ple were reg­u­lar milk and dairy prod­uct con­sumers,” he said. “Of the ap­prox­i­mate one bil­lion peo­ple sup­ported by the in­dus­try, 600 mil­lion lived on dairy farms and 400 mil­lion worked in in­dus­try sup­port. “A to­tal of 240 mil­lion were em­ployed full­time in dairy jobs. “And, a mag­nif­i­cent to­tal of 37 mil­lion women ran dairy farms.” Mr Moore said global op­por­tu­ni­ties for dairy were open­ing up largely in Africa and those parts of Asia with de­vel­op­ing mid­dle classes. “There are a num­ber of rapidly de­vel­op­ing mega-cities in Africa with bur­geon­ing num­bers join­ing the mid­dle class,” he said. “In this con­text and in th­ese mar­kets, the best def­i­ni­tion for mid­dle class is a per­son earn­ing US$10 a day who is look­ing for qual­ity nutri­tion for his or her kids.” Chal­lenges for the in­dus­try around the world in­clude ap­par­ently grow­ing op­po­si­tion to con­sump­tion of an­i­mal-based pro­tein in­clud­ing milk. “In terms of sus­tain­abil­ity, we know farm­ing land avail­abil­ity is lim­ited and wa­ter for farm pro­duc­tion may be­come scarcer,” he said. “The Global Dairy Plat­form’s path­way for­ward will fo­cus on in­ter­nally align­ing the in­dus­try around the world so we are all on the same page of the plan. “We will con­tinue to en­gage with crit­i­cal United Na­tions’ agen­cies such as Food and Agri­cul­ture and we will seek to forge part­ner­ships around nu­tri­tional se­cu­rity, sus­tain­abil­ity and dairy de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing in­no­va­tion. “It’s im­por­tant to be at the UN to en­sure we can cor­rect im­bal­ances and mis­con­cep­tions.”

Don­ald Moore

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