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World Dairy Summit Highlights Nutrition and Food Labeling Efforts

Nov 20, 2012

The International Dairy Federation's World Dairy Summit, held in Cape Town, South Africa, November 4-8, focused on initiatives currently undertaken by the global dairy industry as well as key nutritional trends and scientific advances. The “World in One Country” summit brought together researchers and dairy farmers, processors, marketers and consumers to discuss a wide range of topics relevant to the dairy industry. It drew approximately 1,200 attendees representing 57 countries from around the world. 

"Several IDFA staff members participate in the summit each year so that we can share information with our international colleagues on the challenges and opportunities that exist in the global dairy supply chain," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, who attended the summit. "We also bring back good information about the latest dairy research, nutrition, marketing and communications initiatives around the world."

Food Labeling

Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, was elected to the International Dairy Federation's board of directors during its business meetings held prior to the World Dairy Summit and served as the U.S. delegate to the IDF general assembly. She was also elected chair of the IDF Standing Committee on Food Labeling and attended the meeting during the conference. This committee focused on preparing positions for the Codex committees on food labeling and nutrition that are undertaking revisions to international standards that would adopt new nutrient reference values for vitamins and minerals and establish guidelines for the use of no-sugar and no salt or sodium added claims

In addition, Frye attended key sessions at the IDF World Dairy Summit including a Protein Quality Symposium where researchers presented new scientific analytical method to better measure the quality of food proteins in a nutritional context. The new measurement indicates a higher quality for dairy protein compared to previous measures, which can have favorable long-term implications for dairy ingredients used for food assistance and therapeutic nutrition for malnourished and vulnerable populations around the world.   

School Milk Survey

Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president and chief economist attended the Standing Committee of Marketing (SCM) to represent the 13 member Science and Program Coordinating Committee (SPCC). During this meeting the committee agreed to execute a new program of work called the School Milk Survey together with the Standing Committee of Nutrition and Health (SCNH). This survey will build upon the surveys conducted in previous years that were executed together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) School Milk Program.

The proposed survey will be global in nature and will gather information including but not limited to distribution methods, volume of milk consumed, barriers to participation and price of milk served in schools. It is proposed that the results of the survey will be published in an IDF bulletin and also on the FAO school milk website. There was also discussion about the possible opportunity to publish the results more widely to the dairy industry. It was agreed to establish a joint action team of the two standing committees to design and execute the survey.

"Our participation and leadership in IDF’s standing committees help facilitate and expand global trade for dairy products," said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, who also attended the summit. “We are there to enable IDFA members to access dairy markets around the world."

More details about IDF are available here.

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