Leading executives from both Danone and Nestle will provide key note addresses on the factors they believe will be central to the conferences’ theme of ‘making the most of dairy’ during the event taking place in Madrid, Spain, from the 21 to 23 April
Market Analyst Zenith international, which is acting as an organiser for the event, claim that the presence of groups such as FrieslandCampina, Yili, Wimm-Bill-Dann and Raisio will help ensure strong debate over future industry challenges.
Zenith chairman Richard Hall said that amidst current industry concerns over cost cutting, the consultant understood that some groups may be reluctant to invest in attending the conference.
“We realise that financial constraints make it harder for companies to justify expenditure on conferences this year, but we believe that our panel of speakers and comprehensive view of the market could not be stronger,” he stated.
Along with addressing concerns over ethical and sustainable practices, which Zenith suggests will be a key focus of the event, additional training towards functional food innovation will also be offered to attendees.
Organisations such as the Dairy Council will be offering workshops on dealing with nutrition issues and amendment to health claims legislation in markets like Europe, states the group.
Other topics announced by the organisers include seminars on the addition of omega 3 to dairy products and any potential impacts on taste, along with discussions on probiotic formulation.
Obtaining health claims, particularly within Europe, has become an increasingly prevalent issue for dairy producers in recent years.
Under new regulation adopted back in 2006, in order to obtain health claims for products sold in the bloc, approval must be sought by the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).
Last September, the NDA rejected two claims relating to article 14 of the regulations, put forward by the Ireland-based National Dairy Council (NDC). The rejections related to claims that consumption of a wide-variety of dairy goods may be beneficial to fighting disease.
Helen Brophy, chief executive of the NDC, told DairyReporter.com in December thatadapting to the requirements of new health claim regulations remained a learning process for the industry. She added that the body would therefore try and focus more on generic article 13 claims in the future.
The comments appeared to reflect a change of tactic for the industry though, which believes that article 14 health claims are more suited to individual products, rather than dairy goods as a whole.