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Last Updated:[12-11-2010 01:14:15 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

World Dairy Summit Concludes on Sustainability Mantra

tradenews The World Dairy Summit which attracted about 2000 or so delegates from 70 countries has wound up the four-day conference with bold sustainability agenda coupled with lowering greenhouse emissions. Several high profile officials including representatives from dairy companies, manufacturers, regulatory bodies, academia and government attended the summit to make it a success.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle “For me the key theme was not just sustainability itself but more about the overwhelming positivity about the opportunities for dairy across the world, particularly for New Zealand because of our ability to partake in trade.” He also suggested while feeding the world’s population by meeting the ever increasing demand for dairy should be sustainable both environmentally and in regards to trade.

Nevertheless, the meet also became a platform for discussing dairy contamination, when Alex Chu of Hong Kong’s Dah Chong Hong Holdings reminded of the 2008 melamine tragedy of China. He informed the Chinese consumers’ trust was seriously damaged with the melamine scandal of imported dairy products, which left at least five babies dead and thousands inflicted with kidney problems as a result of the contamination.

The addition of melamine to milk powder gave apparent protein content, and made more commercially valuable. More than 20 Chinese dairy companies were implicated in the contamination including the now defunct Sanlu, a joint venture entity of Fonterra, the leading New Zealand dairy producer.

As the host country is susceptible to climate issues, the WDS too invited protests. This time around, the Camp for Climate Action Aotearoa was at the centre of the protest to stop corporate dairy processes.

According to Voxy News Engine, the Camp for Climate Action Aotearoa spokesperson Gary Cranston is reported to have said, “It is time to radically change the way we produce, trade and consume food and agricultural products. Sustainable small-scale farming and localised food consumption can reverse the devastation inflicted by industrial dairying and support millions of farming families instead. Agriculture can contribute to cooling down the earth by using practices which store greenhouse gases and heavily reduce the use of energy on farm. However, this approach is completely incompatible with Fonterra's business model and the obscene salaries of those attending the World Dairy Summit.”

As per NZ Herald, in response to the protest, NZ branch president of the International Dairy Federation Jeremy Hill said New Zealand was a free country and everyone had the right to vent their opinion. He admitted, but the issues should be considered in the broader context because they were not simple.

By Jose Roy

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