Two-day IDF seminar to take critical look at role of dairy in sustainable diets

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The two-day IDF event is being held in Seville, Spain. Pic:©GettyIMages/LucVi
The two-day IDF event is being held in Seville, Spain. Pic:©GettyIMages/LucVi

Related tags Sustainable development Idf

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) is hosting a two-day dairy seminar, The role of dairy in sustainable diets, in Sevilla, Spain, February 1 and 2.

The event, at the NH Collection Sevilla, includes five sessions, on sustainable diets, public perceptions of dairy, dairy as part of a nutritious diet, the environmental and socioeconomic impact of dairy, and mitigation of environmental impact and adaptation to climate change.

Dr Nico van Belzen, director general of the IDF, told DairyReporter the IDF organizes several meetings a year through its national committees, for example the annual World Dairy Summit, but this is the first event organized directly by the IDF head office on the request of the IDF board.

The event has been in planning for about a year, van Belzen said, with the speakers determined by suggestions from the IDF board, the science and programme coordinating committee, national committees, standing committees and staff. 

Sector plays key role

While this is a dairy industry event, van Belzen said the outcome of the seminar will be communicated to those beyond the industry.

Event speakers include:

Judith Bryans​ (IDF president)
NicoleDarmon​ (INRA, France)
Brad Ridoutt​ (CSIRO, Australia)
Olivier Jolliet​ (Univ of Michigan, US)
Laurent Damiens​ (CNIEL, France)
Wim Verbeke​ (Ghent University, Belgium)
Philippe LeGrand​ (INRA, France)
Ian Givens​ (University of Reading, UK)
Silvia Valtuena Martinez​ (EFSA, Italy)
Gregorio Varela Moreiras​ (Univ CEU San Pablo/Spanish Nutrition Foundation)
Piercristiano Brazzale​ (Brazzale, Italy)
Eric Grande​ (Lactalis, France)
Torsten Hemme​ (IFCN, Germany)
Veronique Lagrange​ (USDEC, US)
Anne Mottet​ (FAO)
Jørgen Eivind Olesen​ (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Mary Beth Hall​ (USDA)

“In addition, IDF represents the global dairy sector towards intergovernmental organizations and in multi-stakeholder forums,”​ he said.

The dairy sector plays a key role in feeding the world, van Belzen added, and the industry must respond “dynamically and forcefully on a global level to those who challenge its nutritional and environmental integrity, while at the same time recognizing that no industry is perfect and we are all striving for sustainable development.

“The environmental impact from dairy products, like for all foods, needs to be viewed in the context of the health benefits provided by the food and the nutrients provided, and its affordability.

“Therefore, we need to consider nutritional benefits, environmental and socioeconomic sustainability all together, like is done in this event.”

Ongoing initiatives

Dr van Belzen said the dairy sector has several initiatives under way to align itself to the Sustainable Development Goals, including the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam​ that was signed by IDF and FAO, and the Dairy Sustainability Framework of which IDF is one of the founding members.

“The IDF provides guidance to its members regarding measuring and decreasing the environmental impact of dairy on e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, water use and biodiversity,”​ van Belzen added.

He said around 100 delegates from all over the world would be attending the sessions.

More information on the event, and registration, can be found here​.

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