“It’s important that we recognize that people will experience sustainability in different ways. Like many other things in life, where you stand in life depends on where you sit,” Dairy UK’s Judith Bryans said as a way of opening her comments during the August 4 Hoard’s Dairyman DairyLivestream.
“If you sit in the U.S. or the UK where you have access to a good amount of food, then your perspective on what a sustainable marketplace is and where dairy sits within that is probably going to be very different than the person who is sitting in a developing nation,” continued the dairy leader from the United Kingdom.
Bryans described the pressure that poverty puts on a sustainability mindset. Those living in poverty lack food availability, experience loss of crops and livestock, and often are simply trying to provide enough nutrition to sustain their families.
“Their view of sustainability and their sustainable future might be getting enough food on the table to feed their family, survive, and try and have a better future for their family,” Bryans elaborated. “Those people really see the value of dairy nutrition, and they aspire to have dairy and animal-based products in their diets because for them nutrition is really that central aspect of food.”
This positive opinion of dairy is also echoed in many countries where inhabitants are moving toward the middle class.
“There’s aspiration there also to have the nutritional benefits of animal-based products like dairy,” Bryans explained. “Sometimes around the world we see that farmers who are growing crops – where they may get an income from their crops twice a year – as soon as they manage to get a little more money, one of the first things they do is buy an animal that they can milk, whether it’s a cow or a goat.”
Bryans encouraged dairy producers to remember the perspective these developing and growing nations have toward our products especially because of the derision dairy sometimes faces.
“I think sometimes as we sit in countries like the U.S. and the UK we see a lot of pressure from groups that quite frankly put out a lot of alarmist messages around dairy and animal agriculture,” she said. “In those cases, we can forget that there is quite a lot of appreciation for dairy in the world, and that in other parts of the world, there’s quite a demand for our products.”
To watch the recording of the August 4 DairyLivestream, go to the link above. The program recording is now also available as an audio-only podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and downloadable from the Hoard’s Dairyman website.
An ongoing series of events
The next broadcast of DairyLivestream will be on Wednesday, August 18 at 11 a.m. CDT. Each episode is designed for panelists to answer over 30 minutes of audience questions. If you haven’t joined a DairyLivestream broadcast yet, register here for free. Registering once registers you for all future events.