FrieslandCampina sees significant changes in dairy sector by 2020

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 18th January 2010

The dairy sector is set to go through a period of rapid changes in the next decade, according to Dutch dairy co-operative FrieslandCampina, with milk set to become one of the world’s most valuable foods.

Under the slogan milk2020, FrieslandCampina CEO Cees ‘t Hart has shared his thoughts on the future of dairy in 2020 with an audience of over 700 young FrieslandCampina dairy farmers during the first FrieslandCampina youth day.

Milk deal

“Doing so provides us with both inspiration and building blocks for the future,” he told the assembly.

Mr ‘t Hart said that the young farmers were part of what he called the crossroads generation. “If they want to be successful in 2020, they must proceed in the right direction over the coming years. And that means having to make choices in order to realise their dream,” he advised.

Dairy value
“By 2020, milk will be seen and handled the world over as one of the most valuable foods,” ‘t Hart asserted. “The nutrients in milk will be recognised for their positive effects on human health. A balanced diet without dairy or milk components? Unthinkable – and inadvisable!”

And, as the price rises, the dairy sector is likely to see the spread of production change around the world.

“Imagine yourself in a satellite and think about the earth needing dairy produce. Where would you produce it? Wherever it’s easiest and most logical to do so,” the milk boss noted. “In northwest Europe, we can secure the global food supply with a minimum load on the environment and on our surroundings. Why? Because northwest Europe offers the best natural conditions for the production of milk and because the dairy farmers there have an unrivalled capacity to combine this with modern technology.”

Dairy and sustainability no longer an issue in 2020?
“Imagine that by 2020, dairy and sustainability are no longer an issue. Existing problems will have been resolved in the decade in between. In other words, we will have sustainable enterprise, social acceptance and extra market opportunities,” suggested ‘t Hart.

Possible scenarios include dairy plants running on green energy and dairy entrepreneurs being rewarded for low energy consumption per litre of milk produced.

Dairy innovation
Consumers currently know dairy through its foods, which range from dairy drinks and milk powders to cheese and butter. But by 2020 this could have expanded, according to FrieslandCampina, to areas as diverse as clothing and cosmetics. The use of milk components in food would continue to be vital, even though it could take a very different form. Milk2020 even suggests the idea that dairy farmers might extract water from milk on their farms, which would then be used in other innovative applications.