Dairy Council Northern Ireland

Milk it for all it's worth


Sustainable dairy

The EU Sustainable Dairy Programme is a three year European funded multi–country programme to disseminate facts and solutions on how to create a sustainable dairy sector.

Other participating Countries are Belgium, France, Denmark, The Netherlands and Ireland.

As part of this programme, Dairy sector leaders from across Europe and Northern Ireland have gathered to discuss the future sustainability of the dairy sector.

The EU–funded event, which was organised by the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland in collaboration with the European Milk Forum (EMF), brought 80 delegates to CAFRE Greenmount.

Northern Ireland has already made significant strides in dairy sustainability practices, improving its carbon footprint by 30.7% between 1990 and 2014. Electricity emissions have also been reduced by 68% between 1990 and 2017, whilst manure emissions have reduced by 27% over the same period.

International dairy expert Donald Moore, Executive Director at Global Dairy Platform, who also chairs a United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS), provided insight into the role the dairy sector can play in improving the local environment and adding to the well–being of people around the world.

Innovative evidence–based solutions such as trailing shoe slurry application, soil testing, selective breeding practices, and energy efficiency measures are already being applied on farms across Northern Ireland to reduce the impact that the dairy sector has on the environment, and play a key role in improving it.

Addressing the symposium, Donald Moore said,

“The Dairy sector plays a vital role in sustaining rural communities, providing employment, and safe and nutritious food for us to enjoy. The United Nations anticipates that resource usage will double by 2050, highlighting the urgent need to radically revise our approach to production and processing.

“For that reason, it’s important that we get the environmental aspects of farming and dairy processing right. This was echoed in the Paris climate agreement in 2015 which set binding commitments to limit global temperature rise and recognised that these efforts must not threaten production and food security.”

Dairy Council CEO Dr Mike Johnston MBE said, “Today we are acknowledging the work that still needs to be done, and highlighting the significant work already being done to tackle climate change, reduce emissions and take an evidence–based, scientific approach to milk production and processing.

“Not only are farmers and processors taking responsibility for their actions, they are also involved in spearheading and developing the latest sustainable dairy research initiatives.”

The Permanent Secretary at the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Dr Denis McMahon, provided an update on the environment priorities within the Northern Ireland Future Agriculture Policy Framework.

Other speakers included sustainability experts Dr Steven Morrison from the Agri–Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Martin Mulholland from the College of Agriculture and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). Human nutrition expert Dr Stephan Peters from the Dutch Dairy Association spoke about diet modelling and the impact of our diet choices on the environment.

Attendees were also shown case studies from local farms and dairy processors and offered the opportunity to visit the dairy unit on site, which is used by CAFRE for knowledge transfer and to model the latest evidence–based dairy practices for students.

October 17

It was a great presentation @edible_evidence - thank you! https://t.co/p4DRU6yWU0…

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October 17

Thank you for coming over to Belfast @LaurenVeronaD and for your brilliant presentati…

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October 16

Thank you so much for coming @DameSarahStorey and for your inspirational presentation…

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October 16

Thank you for coming to the Seminar @JuliaBone and we agree on the inspirational thou…

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October 16

Thank you for coming @PamelaMagee13 and the rest of the @NICHE_ULSTER alumni!…

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October 16

Thank you for coming @wallace17_paula and pleased you enjoyed it https://t.co/V3zNwHq…

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October 16

Thank you for coming @AlexFerentinos7 so pleased you found it useful. https://t.co/9S…

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October 16

A big thanks to our 4 speakers for a really interesting & informative evening of spor…

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October 16

Interesting panel discussion with tonight's speakers #MilkItNI https://t.co/1lbFNiECO…

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October 16

Paralympic and World Champion @DameSarahStorey shares her inspiring story & nutrition…

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October 16

A fascinating insight into the challenges of the 'Race Around Ireland' non-stop ultra…

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October 16

Are all proteins equal for sports performance and muscle recovery in athletes? @OllyW…

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October 16

Chair @madigan_sharon opens an evening of interesting sports nutrition talks #MilkItN…

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October 16

All set up and ready for our 2018 #MilkItNi Performance Nutrition Seminar https://t.c…

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October 16

We can't wait to see you all! @DameSarahStorey #MilkItNI https://t.co/rffdHwJS4F…

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From the farm to the fridge, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland acts on behalf of the dairy industry, advertising and promoting the natural goodness and quality of Northern Ireland milk and dairy products.

Our primary function is to communicate factual information to allow individuals to make well informed choices about dairy products that they consume and to inform them of the benefits of including dairy products in a balanced diet. We use a wide range of media, which includes television, radio, press, magazine, posters and the internet. Our Advertising is complemented by public relations and promotional activities designed to communicate with specific groups.

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