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Dairy Council

Dairy Council NI Supports Europe-Wide Collaboration on Journey to a More Sustainable Food System

The critical role of dairy food in helping Europe achieve its 2050 climate objectives was among the headline events during a recent nine-day agricultural showcase in Berlin.

International Green Week is a global trade fair for the agricultural, horticultural and food industry and at the recent 2024 event members of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland joined fellow sector leaders from the European Milk Forum (EMF) and farmer associations to discuss pathways to accelerate sustainable long-term transformation within Europe’s dairy food chain.

On the show floor in Berlin, a Green Week panel event entitled ‘European Dairy: Pathways to A More Sustainable Food System’ brought together a broad range of expertise from across the continent, including John Gilliland OBE, Professor in Agriculture and Sustainability at Queen’s University Belfast, to consider progress made on future-proofing dairy production and the challenges facing Europe’s rural communities.

Professor Gilliland was joined on the panel by Elisa Münster, Dairy Farmer and Sustainability & Animal Welfare Expert, QMMilch and Dr Federico Dragoni, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Potsdam.

Commenting from Berlin, Chief Executive of the Dairy Council NI Ian Stevenson said:

“International Green Week is a significant focal point for dairy farming and food industries in their entirety. By providing a Europe-wide perspective in the Forum Modern Agriculture pavilion, we were able to communicate with our EMF colleagues a greater understanding of the progress made on sustainability and the work still required to achieve net zero together. The insights of Professor Gilliland and his peers help outline a clear pathway to a future-ready and sustainable food system where dairy plays an integral role.”

In January, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland published its latest Sustainable Dairy Fact Book. Produced as part of the EU Sustainable Dairy Campaign, the booklet enables local dairy farmers and processors to showcase their sustainability journeys and to help all those involved with the sector to make informed decisions to boost sustainability, lower emissions and improve efficiency. 

Ian added:

“On a local level, the Sustainable Dairy Fact Book series recently culminated in a sixth and final fact book, which again highlighted initiatives and cutting-edge research from NI’s scientific community to better equip farmers and processors with the tools to help lower emissions. The outlook is positive for the future sustainability of the sector.”

Read more on Sustainable Dairy.