The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today commended U.S. leadership at the UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS) Pre-Summit ministerial meeting in Rome. The Pre-Summit has generated dialogue on a multitude of ideas, proposals, and perspectives, some of which are not evidence-based or practical. Overall, however, there is strong global support for a process that raises the bar on sustainability ambitions – an area where U.S. dairy producers and processors are well positioned to shine. The organizations welcomed progress toward ensuring that agricultural innovation, science-based policies and sustainably produced animal-sourced foods remain at the center of healthy and sustainable food systems around the world.
NMPF and USDEC joined the U.S. delegation, led by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh, in supporting UN FSS outcomes that advance innovation and evidence-based approaches to increase agricultural productivity and reduce environmental impact. In the months leading up to the Pre-Summit, NMPF and USDEC highlighted to U.S. government officials U.S. dairy’s leading role in implementing sustainable food production practices including those that adapt to and build resilience to climate change by committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon.
“U.S. dairy farmers are taking voluntary action to achieve carbon neutrality, optimize water use, and improve water quality, delivering dairy’s future today,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “We are proud to champion nutrient-dense, sustainably produced U.S. dairy as a food security and environmental solution for the UN FSS and beyond.”
“It has never been more important for the world to adopt solutions like those implemented by U.S. dairy farmers and processors that leave a positive environmental footprint, nourishing people and the planet today and for future generations,” said Krysta Harden, President and CEO of USDEC. “We support the summit in its efforts to make global food systems more sustainable and offer the world a source of choice for responsibly produced, high quality, and nutritious dairy products.”
U.S. dairy farmers and processors lead across all three elements of sustainability defined by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – economic, social, and environmental. Two industrywide U.S. Dairy initiatives have been submitted to the UN FSS as game-changing solutions: (1) the Net Zero Initiative, through which U.S. dairy aims to become carbon neutral or better by 2050; and (2) the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, as part of a One Health approach ensures that science-based stewardship informs on-farm, socially responsible principles for exceptional care of animals and the planet.
NMPF and USDEC will continue to engage actively in the Food Systems Summit, which next meets in September and contribute to efforts to accelerate achievement of global sustainable development goals.