GDP Bulletin January / February 2021

2020 GDP Key Achievements  

None of us could have predicted the incredible disruption COVID-19 would have on our business and personal lives in 2020. With support from our governance groups, membership and network of partnering organizations, GDP was able to rapidly adapt to this new environment.

Despite the challenges, we found new ways to meet objectives and GDP is proud of the work accomplished on behalf of the global dairy sector during this difficult year.

The support GDP is building globally is helping to pave the way for success at the local, regional and national levels.

Summary of GDP 2020 Key Achievements:

GDP’s Plan for 2021

It seems we say this every year, but 2021 is shaping up to be a challenging one for the dairy sector. There are many uncertainties, such as when and how the world will bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. And while awareness is increasing regarding the value dairy provides nutritionally, economically and socially, the sector continues to be criticized for our impact on the planet.

The United Nations (UN) will hold two major summits in 2021 where we must ensure dairy is well organized and firmly represented:

  • The UN Food Systems Summit in September, which promises to “launch bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, delivering progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”
  • COP26 Climate Change Summit in November, during which agriculture and therefore livestock will be central to the agenda.

GDP remains committed to its core mission: to defend the dairy sector’s license to operate while identifying opportunities to expand dairy consumption. For 2021, GDP’s work plan is focused on ensuring dairy is recognized as a vital component of a sustainable food system.

We’ll do that by:

  • Telling the dairy story by driving marketing and communication collaboration in the sector that positively positions dairy as a global leader in responsible and sustainable food systems.
  • Engaging with the UN and member states to make certain dairy’s perspectives are heard during important discussions related to climate change, economic development, food security, nutrition, agriculture, and more.
  • Encouraging the appropriate intake of nutrient-rich dairy by shaping the dialogue surrounding global sustainable food systems and diets, as well as advancing dairy’s protein advantage.
  • Showing dairy is responsible and committed to producing nutritious foods in environmentally sound ways.
  • Demonstrating how dairy transforms livelihoods, creates strong, resilient, and enduring economies, and advances the role of dairy in creating a sustainable future for everyone.

Research Review Finds Climate Impact of Methane may be Overstated

A review of new research suggests the climate impact of methane is not accurately reflected because current metrics don’t recognize that it breaks down in the atmosphere over the course of 12 years. Other greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels, can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

The research review, commissioned by GDP and other farming, academic, and non-governmental organizations, examined Global Warming Potential* (GWP*), a new method for determining the warming impact of methane. GWP* was developed by a global group of climate scientists with leading authors from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

A Literature Review of GWP*:

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

GDP Bulletin January / February 2021

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