The EU is the largest dairy milk-producing region in the world and is renowned for its portfolio of diverse, high quality, nutritionally dense dairy. In 2021, the combined markets of the EU-27 produced approximately 145 million metric tons of dairy products.1
The same year, Ireland was ranked number one by the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) which assesses 113 countries over 58 parameters taking into consideration issues of food affordability, availability and quality, as well as safety standards, natural resources, and resilience. In 2021, Ireland processed 8.8 billion litres of milk, exported 261,651metric tonnes of cheese and exported dairy produce to approximately 150 markets all over the world. Ireland exports over €5 billion of dairy products every year, making it the largest food and drink export category for the country.
When it comes to sustainability and quality standards, Irish dairy is world class. Well established as a reliable and consistent supplier, 2022 will be another record year with volumes exported forecast to grow by more than 5% to 1.7 million metric tonnes. The figures underline the success of a decade-long diversification strategy that has seen Ireland achieve a broad global base for its dairy exports, reaching in excess of 150 countries.
Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU) and European dairy farming exemplifies the very best that the industry has to offer with the highest global standards in food safety, traceability, animal welfare and sustainability. European dairy production is underpinned by strict EU food safety legislation that is recognized as the most stringent worldwide. The EU food safety policy covers food from farm-to-fork and is designed to guarantee safe, nutritious food with high standards of animal health and welfare and clear information on the origin and labelling of food.
A true reflection of the high standards maintained by Irish dairy is in Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board) being awarded a €3.2 million EU co-funded campaign to invest in, and promote dairy across Asia, which launched in April 2022. Leading with the tagline ‘European Dairy - Ireland, working with nature’, the objective of the campaign is to build awareness of, and propensity to purchase, dairy amongst the primary (B2G and B2B) and secondary (B2C) target audiences in each market.
This three year information and promotion campaign is being rolled out across Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and focuses on the sustainable credentials of Irish dairy ingredients and cheese. A selection of promotional activities, such as six trade shows, 19 technical trade seminars and digital marketing activities, will take place across these five high-growth markets in Asia. In addition, the campaign will bring a total of 84 trade and media representatives to Ireland to experience Ireland’s world class dairy production system first-hand.
Celebrating its 10th year, Ireland’s Origin Green programme is the world’s only food and drink sustainability programme. Collaboration is critical in this achievement and more than 55,000 Irish farmers and 300 companies are members across the country, representing over 90% of Ireland’s food and drink exports. Independently monitored and verified at every stage, Irish dairy farming is proud to be one of the lowest impact systems globally from a GHG emissions intensity perspective, calculated at an average of 0.97kg CO2 equivalents per kg output. This is a 7% reduction in the last eight years with work ongoing across the industry for further reductions.
Ireland developed the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS), a national Irish dairy scheme with close to 100 percent participation from Irish dairy farmers. SDAS monitors quality assurance requirements and collects farm performance data to demonstrate the sustainability of Irish dairying at individual farm level.
The natural partnership between Ireland and the EU will also see Irish dairy represented at this year’s Food Ingredients Europe, a forum to showcase the very best products Europe has to offer, taking place in Paris on 6-8 December 2022. With over 20,00 attendees from over 135 countries, this is an opportunity for Ireland to present its premium quality dairy ingredients to an active and engaged global audience, further reinforcing and highlighting those sustainability proof points that make Irish dairy exceptional.
The Expo looks to build new partnerships with suppliers and buyers, provide networking opportunities with experts and leaders, generate new leads, access several hours of content focused on hot trends, and to be part of a community driving change and innovation to build a sustainable food future, for which Ireland is at the forefront.
For 2022, The Ireland pavilion (stand number 7.2D10) showcases Dairygold Food Ingredients, Lakeland Dairies, Tipperary Co-operative and Carbery.
To discover more, visit Irish Dairy.
1. The EU Dairy Market.