The dairy industry is at the vanguard of commercialising research and development initiatives that will drive innovation, delegates at the International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit were told in Belfast on Friday.
In a session chaired by Dr Jeremy Hill, chief science and technology officer of Fonterra, experts in the field of research and development in the dairy sector provided insight into how scientific breakthroughs will drive innovation and help define the industry’s vision for the future.
Dr Margrethe Jonkman, corporate director of research and Development at FrieslandCampina, said: “Innovation is fundamental to the ongoing success of our industry and ensuring that dairy remains relevant in the long term.
“The current focus on sustainability must continue if the sector is to reduce its environmental footprint.
“More than ever, it is vitally important that innovation adds value not only to the producer but also to the consumer.”
Dr Alexander Tolkach, vice-president of Cheese Applications at Saputo Inc, told the audience: “Sustainability will remain an essential consideration in the drive to commercialise science in the dairy industry. The significant investment underway globally in research and development across the value chain should produce a range of positive technological, food safety and nutritional outcomes.”
Michio Ikeda, general manager at the Food and Research Institute at Japanese dairy producer Morinaga Milk, said: “Science is the key to providing a growing global population with protein-rich and sustainable dairy foods. In the Japanese dairy market, companies are investing heavily in research and development to take advantage of the growing consumer shift from taste to functionality.”