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The UK dairy industry today (Thursday October 19) endorsed a declaration to promote the sustainability of dairy systems worldwide.

The Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam, a unique partnership between the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) signals a recognition of the dairy sector’s commitment towards feeding the world with safe, nutritious and sustainable products.

Leading UK dairy organisations endorsed the principles of the Declaration in an official signing in London.

Signing the declaration today were Dr Judith Bryans, President of the International Dairy Federation and Chief Executive of Dairy UK, Paul Vernon, Chairman of the Dairy UK, Gwyn Jones, chair of the AHDB Dairy Board and Michael Oakes, chair of the NFU Dairy Board.

The Dairy Declaration recognises the major contribution that dairy makes to countries’ economies, the essential role of dairy in a balanced diet, and the key role the industry plays in addressing environmental degradation and climate change.

Dr Judith Bryans said: “We are delighted that the UK has joined countries from across the world in demonstrating the importance of the dairy to the global community. When the UN set its Sustainable Development Goals it was clear that dairy was part of the solution in terms of ensuring delivery of a number of goals around nutrition, healthy populations, a healthy planet, and helping to lift people out of poverty.

“The world’s population is growing and dairy plays a key role in meeting their needs. To be fit for the future we must be innovative and ensure we have products that are culturally acceptable, nutritious, safe, sustainable and affordable.”

Paul Vernon, Chairman of Dairy UK, said: “We are proud that the UK as a leading dairy producing nation is endorsing the Dairy Declaration. We are an innovative industry with a deep commitment to environmental good practice and nutritional benefit. We can take pride in the fact that our nutritious products can play such an important part in meeting global sustainability and nutritional responsibilities and ambitions.”

Gwyn Jones said: “We’re proud to join with others around the world endorsing the Dairy Declaration, which recognises the major economic contribution that dairy makes to realising the sustainable development aspirations of farmers and wider communities.”

Michael Oakes said: “For the NFU the Dairy Declaration builds on the excellent work of the Sustainability Roadmap, as well as building on the social, economic and nutritional benefits of dairy, highlighting the important role it plays in rural economies around the world.”

The Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam was launched at the World Dairy Summit in 2016. In the last year 19 countries have signed up.