Twenty years ago, World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to recognize the importance of milk as a global food, and to celebrate the dairy sector.
Each year since, milk and dairy products have been actively promoted around the world, including how dairy supports the livelihoods of one billion people.
This year’s overarching theme is the 20th Anniversary of World Milk Day, with a focus on dairy with regards to health and nutrition, affordability and accessibility, and the sector’s passion and commitment for feeding the world’s communities.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IDF hosted a virtual ’Raise a glass to World Milk Day’ event, which brought together representatives of the dairy sector from around the globe to acknowledge the day and pay tribute to milk.
IDF director general, Caroline Emond said, ”World Milk Day is such an important event for the dairy sector, providing an opportunity to focus attention on milk and raise awareness of dairy’s part in healthy diets, responsible food production, and supporting livelihoods and communities. However, with traditional events and meetings not possible this year, we instead brought our dairy experts together with a digital celebration of milk and its multiple benefits for society. We’re thrilled we were able to acknowledge World Milk Day 2020 in this way and thank all the IDF dairy experts who were able to take part.”
The IDF also noted that former IDF president Dr Jeremy Hill was honored as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to the dairy sector.
Dr Hill served as president and chairman of the board of the IDF, between 2012 and 2016, and was a key contributor to the development of the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam, co-signed with the FAO, which is a commitment for sustainable and environmentally-friendly dairy production.
Dairy Farmers of America asks nation to spread #GallonsofGood
With schools closed and community meal services suspended amid the COVID-19 crisis, the need for reliable, nutritious food is even greater for thousands of families across the country.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) farmer-owners have donated the equivalent of more than 625,000 gallons of milk to families faced with hunger who relied on these services over the past few months.
Additionally, through the creation of the DFA Cares Farmers Feeding Families Fund, DFA and its farmer-owners are raising money to help provide essential support and deliver dairy products to community food banks across the country. To date, the DFA has raised more than $500,000.
Starting on Monday, June 1, World Milk Day, DFA has launched the Gallons of Good initiative. For every social post shared using #GallonsOfGood during the month of June, DFA will donate $1 to help local food banks purchase milk through the Farmers Feeding Families Fund.
Throughout June Dairy Month, DFA farmers across the country will deliver more than 10,000 gallons of milk to local communities through milk giveaways, food drives, and donations to local food banks.
Organized by the United Nations 20 years ago, World Milk Day shares and celebrates the contributions that the dairy industry adds to nutrition, communities, sustainability, livelihoods, and economic development. Last year, World Milk Day was celebrated with 426 events in 68 countries.
Checkoff’s National Dairy Month efforts
In celebration of National Dairy Month in the US, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) and state and regional checkoff teams around the country are also showcasing dairy’s resilience and community impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization published a “Raising Gallons” video that DMI created in partnership with state and regional checkoff organizations. The video features Olympians, NFL players, chefs and others raising a gallon of milk to show appreciation for dairy farmers while supporting the checkoff’s goal of getting dairy to food-insecure Americans through its Feeding America partnership.
The video encourages consumers to post their own “raising gallons” photo using #UndeniablyDairy. MilkPEP will match donations to its GiveAGallon campaign up to $100,000.
Additional checkoff-led efforts nationally and locally will promote “30 Days of Dairy” throughout June. Each day of the month will be filled with virtual farm tours and content promoting the role dairy plays in people’s lives while illustrating dairy farmers’ resilience and contributions to their communities, tagged with a newly created “30 Days of Dairy” badge.
“The celebration of National Dairy Month has taken on new meaning this year given the global pandemic,” said Heather Oldani, executive vice president of communications for DMI.
“Despite challenging times, farmers have shown a tireless commitment to waking up each morning to ensure a safe, nutritious supply of dairy is available at our grocery stores, in our homes and in community food banks. The essential role farmers have played has made it possible for the rest of us to continue to enjoy the dairy foods we all love.”