Dairy Industry Leaders Convene in Copenhagen to Discuss Sustainability and Innovation

The Dairy Innovation Strategies 2024 conference in Copenhagen brought together industry leaders to discuss the future of the dairy sector, focusing on sustainability, plant-based alternatives, and modernization to appeal to younger consumers and reduce carbon emissions. Key entities, including Arla Foods, Tirlán, and Oatly, emphasized the need for collaboration and innovation to address the industry's significant environmental impact and attract the next generation of consumers. This description highlights the primary topic of the article (the dairy industry's future and sustainability), the main entities involved (industry leaders and companies), the context (the Copenhagen conference), and the significant actions and implications (collaboration, innovation, and environmental impact). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the conference setting and the emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Dairy Industry Leaders Convene in Copenhagen to Discuss Sustainability and Innovation

Dairy Industry Leaders Convene in Copenhagen to Discuss Sustainability and Innovation

The Dairy Innovation Strategies 2024 conference took place in Copenhagen this week, bringing together industry leaders to discuss the future of the dairy sector. The two-day event focused on sustainability, plant-based alternatives, and the need for modernization and collaboration to attract younger consumers and reduce carbon emissions.

Why this matters: The dairy industry's shift towards sustainability and innovation has significant implications for the environment and global food systems. As the industry accounts for a substantial portion of greenhouse gas emissions, its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint can have a ripple effect on the entire food production chain.

Patrik Hansson, CMO of Arla Foods, emphasized the urgency for the dairy industry to evolve, stating, "The dairy industry hasn't modernized. It's still talking about the family breakfast. I'm sorry, that's gone." Hansson stressed the importance of innovation to appeal to the next generation, asking, "How do we get the next generation to enjoy our products? We need to find ways to innovate in a different way to attract the cool kids of the next generation."

The conference also highlighted the challenges faced by consumers in identifying healthy food choices. Hansson noted, "Eighty per cent of people say they are confused as consumers as to what is healthy or unhealthy food. That is a big, big problem and we need to tackle it as an industry."

Sustainability was a central theme at the conference, with industry leaders emphasizing the need for collaboration across the supply chain. Thomas Ryan, head of agri-sustainability and customer engagement at Tirlán, stated, "Collaboration across the supply chain is key to a sustainable future." The dairy industry accounts for approximately 5% of total emissions, with 80-85% of emissions occurring at farms, according to Thijs Geijer, senior sector economist at ING Bank.

The conference also featured representatives from plant-based businesses, such as Naturli and Oatly. Lana Lolfing, sustainability manager at Oatly, highlighted the environmental impact of the food system, stating, "Around a third of all greenhouse gas emissions globally come from the food system... We really need to change the way we eat. Switching to a plant-based diet is one important step on this journey."

The dairy industry faces significant costs in implementing net zero strategies, with ING Bank estimating that it could cost between €5 billion to €19 billion ($5.40 billion to $20.54 billion) for 30 major dairy companies. Some large dairy companies have already set aside $1 billion for sustainability initiatives.

The Dairy Innovation Strategies 2024 conference in Copenhagen brought together key players in the dairy industry to address the pressing issues of sustainability, consumer trends, and the need for innovation. As the sector faces challenges in reducing emissions and appealing to younger generations, collaboration and modernization will be crucial in shaping the future of the dairy industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Dairy industry must modernize to appeal to younger consumers and reduce carbon emissions.
  • 80% of consumers are confused about healthy food choices, an issue the industry must address.
  • Collaboration across the supply chain is key to a sustainable future for the dairy industry.
  • Dairy industry accounts for 5% of total emissions, with 80-85% occurring at farms.
  • Implementing net zero strategies could cost dairy companies €5-19 billion ($5.40-20.54 billion).