GDP Bulletin January / February 2020

GDP’s Plan for 2020

Global Dairy Platform’s (GDP) core mission is to defend the dairy sector’s license to operate while identifying opportunities to expand dairy consumption.

As you may be aware, 2020 is shaping up to be a challenging year for the dairy sector. Animal agriculture is facing increasing criticism from those who promote a plant-based agenda as a solution to Environmental, Health or Ethical concerns. A number of key UN meetings will occur this year which will present an opportunity to balance the debate and positively position dairy as a sustainable and responsible sector.

GDP’s 2020 Work Plan, which builds on the success of the past several years to tackle these issues and opportunities, includes initiatives that will deliver results in Marketing Communications, UN Engagement, Nutritional Security, Sustainability and Dairy Development

Key Deliverables for GDP in 2020:

  1. NOURISH 2020 in Shanghai. Leverage momentum from the successful NOURISH 2019 event by exploring dairy’s role in the future of food with dairy sector leaders from around the world.
  1. World Milk Day (WMD) and Enjoy Dairy Rally. Continue the success of the past 3 years by coordinating global dairy promotional activity in support of the 20th Anniversary of WMD.
  1. Environmental Sustainability (ESC) and Optimizing Dairy Search. Two projects that have grown out of GDP’s collaboration with the International Milk Promotion (IMP) group. For ESC, GDP will deliver a message framework that the global sector can utilize to address key challenges for dairy in a responsible and sustainable food system. For Search, GDP will work with members to complete pilots in both the US and UK, demonstrating how dairy can use this tool to tell the dairy story.
  1. UN Engagement. GDP will continue to develop its Dairy Ambassador Program in order to balance the conversation at key UN meetings.
  1. Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition. The UN Committee on World Food Security is developing a set of voluntary guidelines for use by Members States. GDP has actively engaged in development of these guidelines, and in 2020 will continue to be involved in the process with negotiation among Members States on final wording.
  1. Protein QualityFAO has recommended replacing the current method of assessing protein quality with a new, more accurate method (Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS)). GDP initiated Project Proteos to prove the method and to start collecting a data set that could be used to support DIAAS adoption. Phase I concluded at the end of 2019 and the report will be published in the first half of 2020. Following positive discussions with the Proteos research team, phase two of the project will begin later this year.
  1. Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF) Reporting. The DSF reports the aggregate performance of the dairy sector via its members. GDP is working with Reading University in the U.K. to develop a narrative based upon the data collected and the progress against the DSF’s 11 strategic indicators.
  1. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Grant Helps Accelerate GDP Work.
    • DSF Pilots in Asia and Africa. GDP will help two countries in Asia and two countries in Africa develop sustainability pilots. Once the pilots are operational, GDP will be able to include their data in DSF reporting for the global dairy sector.
    • Dairy Impact Methodology (DIM). GDP led development of DIM to measure the socio-economic impact of dairy, both in established dairy sectors and in developing regions. The DIM team includes FAO, World Bank, International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN), International Livestock Research Institute, National Dairy Development Board India and IFAD. As part of the IFAD grant, GDP will accelerate development of the DIM and pilot the tool in India and Rwanda in 2020.
    • Dairy’s Impact on SDG10: Reducing Inequalities. GDP will develop the third in a series of research papers on how dairy can help with socio-economic challenges articulated in the UN Agenda 2030 and the SDGs. This report will investigate the linkage between dairy and the empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups, including women and youth.

Project Proteos: A New Method to Measure Protein Quality is Critical

The current methods of measuring protein quality often underestimate dairy and overestimate plant-based proteins. That’s why Project Proteos, an ongoing multi-center research trial initiated by GDP in 2016, is developing a more reliable way (DIAAS) to measure the protein quality of foods.

GDP is hosting a webinar Thursday, Feb. 6, during which the research team that developed the approach will present their results from phase one, and provide an overview of the second phase of testing which will start later this year. The researchers are from four universities on three continents, including the University of Illinois in the US, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Massey University in New Zealand, and Agro Paris Tech in France.

Twenty companies and organizations, both inside and outside the dairy industry, funded the first phase of Project Proteos, and many have expressed their commitment to funding phase two as well.

At a time when animal-sourced foods in general, and dairy products in particular, are being scrutinized for their impact on human health as well as the environment, developing a new method that differentiates animal-sourced proteins from lower-quality plant proteins is vital. Please join this important webinar on February 6.

For more information, contact Dr. Mitch Kanter:

Busy chemist


GDP/IMP Meeting to Explore Dairy’s Role in Sustainable Food Systems

Dairy sector marketing communications professionals will gather in Zurich May 3-5, 2020, for the 11th Annual GDP/IMP Global Dairy Marketing Communications meeting. The theme of the meeting is “Dairy’s Role in Responsible and Sustainable Food Systems.” Speakers so far include:

    • Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Professor at the University of California, Davis, and an expert on GHGs in agriculture, will speak about Facts and Fiction with regards to the environmental impact of livestock.
    • Dr. Frederic Leroy, Professor at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, will present on the social and nutritional aspects of sustainability in livestock.
    • Hanne Sondergaard, CMO, EVP of Marketing, Innovation, Communication and Sustainability at Arla Foods, will discuss how the sector can be more effective at telling dairy’s environmental story.
    • Fritz Schneider, Chair of the UN’s Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, will share his views on how the dairy sector and other livestock groups can proactively build the evidence for sustainability and have a stronger voice at inter-governmental forums.

For more information, please contact

Dr. Frank Mitloehner
Dr. Frederic Leroy
Hanne Sondergaard
Hanne Sondergaard
Fritz Schneider


Dairy Sector – A Snapshot


1 billion people strong


600 million people living on farms


400 million additional people are supported by the full time jobs that are created in support of dairy farming


240 million people are employed, directly or indirectly, in the dairy sector


133 million dairy farms


37 million farms led by women, 80 million women employed in dairying

Important Dates for the Dairy Diary

May 3 – 5

GDP/IMP Marketing Communications Meeting, Zurich

May 27 – 29

2020 NOURISH Conference, Shanghai

May 29 – June 1

Enjoy Dairy Rally and World Milk Day

September 25

GDP Annual Meeting
Cape Town

September 26

Dairy Sustainability Framework Annual Members Meeting
Cape Town


GDP Bulletin January / February 2020

11 min
Send this to a friend