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Plant-based alternatives are gaining popularity – yet an exit from milk as source of protein is not foreseen. On the contrary, IFCN even foresees an increased demand for dairy products in the long-term. Transparency and fact-based information are key to address the challenges connected with different types of milk as well as plant-based beverages.

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 focussed on the global dairy perspectives 2040 and “Different types of milk – Complexity, Challenges & Opportunities”.

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.

As Roberto Brazzale said – “With our more than 20 own shops we can better spread reliable information and “the culture” of the milk”

Participants of the 17th IFCN Supporter Conference 2019

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