Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, joined other industry experts in Copenhagen earlier this month to review global dairy issues and help determine the focus for Global Dairy Platform's priority projects. The group refined the planned efforts to address three key issues - milkfat, nutrient density and sustainability - that would help to meet GDP's goal to enhance the image of milk and dairy products around the world.
Global Dairy Platform is an international non-profit organization based in Chicago that unites leading dairy corporations, cooperatives and associations in an effort to coordinate industry resources, reduce duplication of research and promotional efforts, and expand global demand for milk and dairy products. Frye serves as a member of the organization's Communication and Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of international health and nutrition scientists, academics, communicators and other experts from the regulatory field who guide GDP's efforts.
"Many of the same dairy issues that we face in the United States are common in other countries," said Frye. "By being pro-active and coordinating scientific and medical research and communication efforts on dairy, the Global Dairy Platform can help dairy industries around the world reach consumers with positive messages about the nutritional benefits of dairy products."
The advisory board explored the latest research and policy issues on health related to saturated fat in dairy products, such as cheese. It suggested a systematic review of the existing research, as well as possible new research to study the impact of hard cheese consumption on blood lipids and cardiovascular disease. The goal would be to build scientific support showing that fat in dairy products may have a different impact on human health than saturated fat from other products.
The group also recognized the positive results of the current U.S. push by Dairy Management Inc. and the Milk Processor Education Program to promote the nutrient density of dairy products to consumers. It supported GDP's plan to spread this message on a global basis with assistance from a public relations firm to design and implement a publicity plan.
With sustainability getting such broad attention in the industry as well as in the media, the advisory board endorsed the needed for GDP to look at how dairy fits with sustainability in a variety of ways, not just with environmental issues. The members drafted a sustainability statement to present to the full GDP membership when it meets in Berlin this September in conjunction with the International Dairy Federation.
A list of advisory board members and more information about GDP is available here. Members with questions may contact Frye at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3543.