The International Dairy Federation's World Dairy Summit held earlier this month focused on several environmental initiatives undertaken by the global dairy industry, as well as economic and policy issues, key nutritional trends and scientific advances. Held this year in Auckland, New Zealand, the summit drew 2,200 attendees - a record high - representing 66 countries from around the world.
The summit, November 8-11, brought researchers together to discuss topics that are relevant to dairy farmers, processors, marketers and consumers.
"Perhaps the most important aspect of gathering at the IDF summit each year is being able to hear and share information on the challenges and opportunities for the global dairy supply chain, as well as to learn about research, nutrition, marketing and communications," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, who attended the summit. "The collaboration and ideas coming out of this week will be extremely valuable for all participants."
Frye Speaks on IDF's Key Role with Codex
IDFA Vice President Cary Frye was a featured speaker on the opening day of the summit. Her presentation, "Impact of Codex Outcomes," outlined the important role that IDF committees play in guiding the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Codex is a global reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and international food trade.
Frye cited several examples of IDF's accomplishments in Codex regulations, including:
- revised standards for 16 varieties of cheese, which allowed technological advances in processing, and a new standard for fermented milk drinks;
- resolution of the a dispute regarding the conversion factor used to determine the level of protein in milk and soy;
- exemption for nutrition research and educational material from a proposal that would have made sharing information difficult;
- coordination of efforts to provide technical and scientific rationale for new labeling standards;
- technical justification for levels of colorants, needed additives and anti-microbials for cheese; and
- a leadership role in food safety work, including the Code of Hygienic Practices for Milk and Milk Products and the new Performance Objective, which harmonized the microbiological safety of dairy products.
"There are still critically important issues in the Codex committees on labeling, food hygiene and additives," Frye told the audience. "Experts of IDF member committees need to continue their successful efforts of the past to provide sound technical information and scientific justification to have an impact on new food additives, updated food safety principles and meaningful package labeling of dairy products."
IDF Unveils New Carbon Footprint Methodology
As part of the summit agenda on climate change, IDF unveiled a new methodology, called "A Common Carbon Footprint Approach for Dairy - The IDF Guide to Standard Lifecycle Assessment Methodology for the Dairy Sector." It's based on current best science and international standards to allow all dairy industry participants to measure consistent and comparable data on their carbon footprints.
The methodology will help producers and processors manage resources more effectively and continue to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions. It can be downloaded at http://www.IDF-LCA-guide.org.
'World Dairy Situation 2010'
The IDF "World Dairy Situation 2010," an annual economic analysis of global dairy trends, also was released at the summit. See this month's column by Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president and chief economist, for more details. Yonkers serves as the chair of the IDF Standing Committee on Dairy Policies and Economics.
Frye is vice chair of the IDF Standing Committee on Food Labeling, which has been working to ensure that all nutrition labeling is consistent and provides the information consumers need to make healthy choices.
"Our staff participation in the IDF Standing Committee meetings helps IDFA members to efficiently access other dairy markets around the world," said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, who also attended the summit. "These committees play an important role in facilitating international trade in dairy."