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Global representation key to handling dairy sector challenges – IDF president

By Mark Astley , 23-Nov-2012

Maintaining global industry representation is key to overcoming dairy sector challenges such as cross-border trade and price volatility, the new International Dairy Federation (IDF) president has claimed.

Speaking with DairyReporter.com, newly-elected IDF president Dr Jeremy Hill highlighted the importance of industry representation in developed and developing dairy markets such as China and India – pinpointing it as one of his most important tasks as presidency.

Hill, who works at director of research, science, technology and development at Fonterra, was announced as successor to Richard Doyle at the IDF World Dairy Summit in Cape Town, South Africa earlier this month.

According to Hill, upholding its presence in dairy markets across the world will be vital if the IDF hopes to meet challenges relating to globalisation, cross-border trade, industry consolidation, and price volatility, head on.

Significant dairy challenges

“It’s an exciting period in the dairy industry at the moment. Global demand in dairy is growing at an extraordinary rate, mainly as lots of new consumers can afford dairy primarily in Asia and developing countries,” said Hill.

“That’s driving an unprecedented increase in demand for dairy products. But at the same time, like many other markets, the dairy sector is subject to volatility. That present’s some significant challenges to the dairy sector.”

Despite the majority of global dairy demand growth coming from developing nations, the issues faced by developed and developing dairy markets “quite common”, said Hill.

“The world is so interconnected. There are sustainability issues in Asia and sustainability issues in Europe, and the nutritional value of dairy has a common basis globally as well. As long as we can keep our membership globalised, the IDF will be well positioned to support both the developed and developing dairy markets.”

“The more effective, efficient, and robust we can make the sector through that work, the better placed and more resilient it is to facing tom facing those sorts of challenges.”

Active in the industry

Hill has been associated with the work conducted by the IDF since the early nineties and an IDF board member since 2002.

“I’ve come to appreciate the value of the organisation through that involvement and I look forward to the opportunity to take on an active leadership role in this new role as president,” said Hill. “The organisation does an awful lot of good work. One of my priorities will be to publicise it more.”

He added that he will continue his work at Fonterra – a decision he believes is “beneficial” to the IDF.

“I think it is beneficial to still be active within the industry, but we do have a permanent staff led by the director general. I think what the presidency role brings is an ability to connect the ideas to the rest of the sector,” he said.

“You’ve had people in the presidency role who have held senior roles in various countries in the dairy sector simultaneously to holding the presidency role. So it is very beneficial to in fact do that.”

(*Register here for free access to the first ever online event  devoted to Operational Efficiency in food and beverage processing on November 29, organized by our sister site FoodProductionDaily.com and William Reed Business Media.)

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