Marking United Nations World Milk Day (Monday, 1st June, 2020), ICOS President Jerry Long has paid tribute to co-operative dairy farmers and processors throughout Ireland for their excellent response and contribution throughout the current crisis as primary producers underpinning the national food supply chain and the continuation of Ireland’s highly valuable dairy export industry.
World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to recognise the importance of milk as a globally essential food. Now in its twentieth year, the global event also marks the importance of dairy farmers and rural communities as the bedrock of milk production in Ireland and globally.
“Milk has a special place in homes and communities throughout Ireland. It is naturally produced, wholesome and nutritious and its constituents are used in a vast range of consumer food products like cream, butter, cheese and dairy ingredients including highly functional milk powders which have multiple applications in every food manufacturing sector you can possibly think of,” said Jerry Long, President of ICOS. “The commitment of Irish dairy farming families over many generations to produce milk of the highest possible quality, primarily through the pasture based system of grazing fresh grass, provides the litre of milk as the very building block of our entire industry where the dairy processing sector adds major value to that milk as a key pillar of Irish food and drink exports, yielding €4.4bn in value to the Irish economy last year (2019).”
“Founded in 1894, the co-operative movement has empowered farming communities collectively to grow the agriculture and food industry that we have today. Co-operatives are at the heart of our dairy processing sector where we have a major commitment to economic progress on a sustainable platform including most particularly the protection of our environment through sustainable production and processing practices now and into the future. Everyone should celebrate the wonderful and natural product we value and enjoy and that contributes so much to our lives and economy and raise a glass on World Milk Day.”