GDP Bulletin June / July 2020

Dairy Sector Celebrates 20th Anniversary of World Milk Day

The global dairy sector was proudly celebrated during the 20th Anniversary of World Milk Day this year, starting with the Enjoy Dairy Rally from May 29-31, culminating in World Milk Day on June 1. World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2001 to recognize the importance of milk as a global food.

The Enjoy Dairy Rally, focusing on the themes of Nutrition, Community and Enjoyment, was held for the second consecutive year and helped create a four-day promotional campaign for the sector.

Global Dairy Platform (GDP), which coordinates World Milk Day activities, is pleased to report that 104 countries around the world participated in World Milk Day, from Albania to Zimbabwe. Total impressions increased more than 25% over last year to 842 million, and positive/neutral sentiment grew to 97.5% (up from 96% last year), while negative posts decreased to 2.5% (down from 4% in 2019).


11th Annual GDP / IMP Marketing Communications Meeting Well Attended

More than 90 dairy sector marketing and communications professionals from around the world met online May 4-5, 2020, for the 11th Annual GDP / IMP Marketing Communications Meeting. The theme was “Dairy’s Role in a Responsible and Sustainable Food System.”

Monday, May 4, 2020
Mr. Kelvin Wickham, CEO of Africa, Middle East, Europe, North Asia and Americas for Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, and Mr. Jay Waldvogel, SVP of Strategy and International Development for Dairy Farmers of America, gave their perspectives on COVID-19 and the implications for dairy.

Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Professor at the University of California, Davis, discussed the environmental impact of livestock. “Cows are not to blame for global warming,” he said, noting accusations that livestock is causing climate change ignore the true impact of methane on the environment because it is a short-lived pollutant.

Mr. Fritz Schneider, Chair of the UN’s Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL), said his organization emphasizes the importance of livestock for sustainable food security and nutrition at the global, regional, national and local levels.

Mr. Brian Lindsay of the Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF) and GDP’s Sector Lead for Sustainability, shared how the DSF is tracking 11 sustainability criteria across 48% of the formal milk market. DSF has a critical role in demonstrating the dairy sector’s commitment to and improvement of key sustainability metrics.

Mr. Kevin Burkum, GDP’s Communications Director, discussed GDP’s proposed “Net Zero: Pathways to Low-Carbon Dairy” effort, which will initiate a sector-wide dialogue on climate action and bring together industry leaders, climate experts and others to identify how dairy can contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Dr. Frédéric Leroy, Professor at Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, presented “The Future of Dairy and Other Animal Foods in Turbulent Food Systems.” He said, “We are stuck in a superficial, urban, middle-class, and Western-centric food paradigm that provides disconnected, dogmatic and monolithic health advice. Let’s be clear: dairy products are health foods.”

Mr. Burkum provided an update on the Environmental Sustainability Communications (ESC) work program, which includes a team of communicators with both commercial dairy companies as well as dairy associations who have been working to translate the evidence that dairy is part of the solution to limit climate change.

Ms. Serena Schaffner, DMI Senior VP of Communications, and Ms. Sophie Clarke, Dairy UK Communications Manager, shared the online dairy search pilot projects they conducted in their countries. Ms. Schaffner said sustainability is a big opportunity for the sector to focus on in search moving forward. Ms. Clarke said that improving search rankings means creating new content and maintaining the health of your website on a regular basis.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Frank Mitloehner
Dr. Frédéric Leroy
Fritz Schneider

GDP Annual Meeting Set for Thursday, Sept. 24

GDP’s 14th Annual Meeting is scheduled to be held virtually on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A DATE CHANGE IN ORDER TO AVOID THE WEEKEND IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE WORLD.

To help accommodate a variety of time zones, the meeting will be conducted twice:

06:00 – 09:30 US Central Time:

16:00 – 19:30 US Central Time:

In addition, the proceedings will be recorded for anyone who is unable to attend either session.

The agenda is still being finalized, but we anticipate having a high-profile keynote speaker from outside the dairy sector, as well as a variety of updates regarding key GDP work programs, from Environmental Sustainability, to Nutrition Security to Dairy Development.

Dr. Margrethe JonkmanGDP Deputy Chair and Corporate Director Research & Development of Royal FrieslandCampina, speaking at GDP’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Istanbul.

For more information, please contact:

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

Sept. 24, 2020

GDP Annual Meeting

Sept. 26, 2020

Dairy Sustainability Framework Annual Members Meeting

GDP Bulletin June / July 2020

9 min
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