Opening remarks at the Sustainable Development International Cooperation Forum
Piercristiano Brazzale, President of the International Dairy Federation (IDF)
It is an honor for me to participate in this impressive World Dairy Industry Convention, and to introduce the Sustainable Development International Cooperation Forum, hosted by Mengniu. I thank my friend Jeffrey Lu, the CEO of Mengiu and the organizers for their kind invitation.
Without doubt, Sustainability is one of the main focus of this Convention. It has also been and continues to be one of the fundamental pillars of IDF's programme of work.
Sustainability is not merely a buzzword; it is a core value that we hold dear to our hearts. Our commitment to sustainability is not only driven by ethical considerations but also by the pressing need to address global challenges and secure a better future for the generations to come.
The global dairy sector has already taken significant strides towards supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our dedication to providing safe, nutritious, and sustainable dairy products is deeply rooted in our mission to nourish the fast-growing population of our planet. We understand the importance of responsible dairy farming, resource conservation, and reducing our carbon footprint to mitigate the impact on the environment.
As we navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, it is crucial that we forge a common ground to further enhance our commitment to sustainability. The future of the dairy sector relies on our collective efforts to promote positive change, integrate sustainable practices, and drive innovation throughout the entire value chain.
In effect, innovation is also a vital driving force that leads the dairy sector in its pathway to the future. In my day job as CEO of Brazzale S.p.A., Italy's oldest dairy company which has been producing cheese for eight generations, we innovate on a daily basis. As a family company, we would not have been successful for hundreds of years without innovation.
Innovation is also part of IDF's DNA. We can even say that IDF's creation, 120 years ago, was an act of innovation in itself, and that innovation has been a part of everything we did ever since. It's in the way we develop new standards and methodologies to ensure milk and dairy's safety and quality, in our way of addressing nutrition and human health as well as animal health and welfare, and it's in our commitment to sustainability.
For this particular purpose, a year ago, we developed the IDF Dairy Innovation Awards, an initiative to acknowledge and promote innovation within the global dairy sector, particularly those committed to achieve the UN SDGs. In last year's edition, China won three important categories, including Innovation in Climate Action.
Last week, three Chinese companies have been declared finalists of the second edition, with outstanding performances in the Innovation in new product development category, providing therefore a strong benchmark and learning opportunities to companies from all over the world.
This is mostly what the IDF Dairy Innovation Awards and most of IDF's initiatives are about: generating global platforms to exchange science, knowledge and new and creative ways of addressing challenges and opportunities. The secret to escalate dairy science, knowledge an experience to a global dimension is though international cooperation.
As the oldest and most iconic international organization in the dairy sector, we will continue to enhance cooperation and exchange by our members, stakeholders and players from all over the world.
We are dairy. We are proud to be dairy.
I wish you a very successful session.