The United Nations’ SDGs are part of an ambitious and universal agenda, that are meant to bring the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. There are overall 17 Goals with 169 targets, which seek to end poverty, improve the lives of all peoples and secure the planet for future generations. The SDGs are built upon the Millennium Development Goals, trying to complete what these did not and are balanced on the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.
The European dairy sector will play a key role in fulfilling these goals, as it provides key nutritional, social and economic inputs. Moreover, as an emitter of Greenhouse gases, it accepts its responsibilities and has continuously worked on greater sustainability through various international, as well as national, initiatives.
The dairy sector could be key to ending poverty in all its forms, especially for rural communities, where agriculture is still very prominent. With nearly 700,000 dairy farms across Europe, 300,000 people directly employed in the dairy processing sector and many more involved in retail, this is an industry that represents a large employment market and symbolises the financial livelihoods of many.
Dairy is essential in the strive towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving the nutritional value of diets in a sustainable manner. Dairy products make key nutritional contributions to European diets, fulfilling 9-16% of the daily nutritional recommendations and are essential providers of protein (13-27%) and calcium (36-67%). Moreover, dairy contains a whole range of essential nutrients, such as potassium, iodine, zinc and many important vitamins (A,B2,B6,B12,D). The animal by-products incurred during processing can also be used as a fertilizer that assists in other agricultural activities, such as growing crop for human consumption. Finally, the income that the production of dairy provides further ensures the food security of producers and their families.
Dairy products can play a key role in ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of people. As previously mentioned, dairy contains a wide range of essential micronutrients, that are important in all diets, but especially for children, pregnant women and the elderly. Without dairy, it would be difficult to obtain adequate quantities of essential nutrients, as this is hard to achieve solely from plant-based products. To ensure a safe and healthy product, the well-being of the animal equally needs to be taken into consideration. The European dairy sector therefore attaches a great deal of importance to this issue and strictly abides to the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, which were formulated by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. For more visit euromilk.org
Source: EDAAuthor: COX