Last week, CowSignals® joined the IFCN Supporter Conference 2019. IFCN creates a better understanding of the dairy world by providing comparable data, knowledge and inspiration. The organization started in 2000 as the International Farm Comparison Network uniting research partners via the in-depth analysis of the typical dairy farming systems around the world.
The 17th IFCN Supporter Conference was held in Brno, Czech Republic, 17-19th September. This annual event has become the leading global think tank for the dairy sector and a knowledge exchange platform for dairy related companies. This year around 100 participants from over 65 companies focused on the global dairy perspectives 2040 and “Different types of milk – Complexity, Challenges & Opportunities”. CowSignals® was excited to attend and join the discussion.
According to IFCN, milk will continue to be the main source of protein in the (near), despite the growing popularity of plant-based dairy alternatives. But the dairy sector should nevertheless take action to inform and engage the consumer about the dairy industry, preventing anti-dairy movements from creating an unrealistic, negative image of dairy products. IFCN states:
"Looking at the facts of different types of milk an interesting story becomes evident. In 2018, about
• 5 % of the total world milk production came from animals other than cows and buffalos.
• 4 % of the total EU milk consumption was represented by plant-based alternatives.
• 3 % of the milk supply in 50 countries monitored by IFCN were produced organically.
• 2 times higher milk price was fetched by lab-based beverages as compared to cow’s milk.
• 1 % was the equivalence of plant-based dairy alternatives to the total EU milk production.
This data proves that the emotional discussion around different types of milk and dairy alternatives is overstating the relevance of the topic, so far as facts show only a limited impact on the dairy market.
However, during the conference special attention was paid to the existing and continuous growing number of anti-dairy movements. Within a workshop the following ideas were proposed
• We must create transparency based on coordination of the dairy sector and IT solutions
• Circularity of cow and milk production is misunderstood and as a sector we need to better present the perspective.
• Customer engagement and awareness is vital."