Dairy Development in emerging economies: A motor for sustainable and healthy growth?
Dairy Development and intensification contributes to healthy food, gainful employment and sustaining the agro-ecological base, stated Jan van der Lee in his key note speech at the Dairy event in Veenendaal on November 27. A total of 89 participants joined the workshop on “Dairy Development in emerging economies: A motor for sustainable and healthy growth?” to discuss needs, challenges and opportunities of dairy development in emerging economies. The goal of the Dairy event was to set an agenda for sustainable dairy development in emerging economies. The input gathered during the meeting will also enrich the draft Dairy Discussion paper.
“How can dairy development be a motor for sustainable and healthy growth?” was the central discussion question. A question that also lies at the heart of the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) as this partnership wants to boost transformative approaches for sustainable food systems and healthy diets.
Jan van der Lee ended his keynote by stating that dairy development is not about willingness to change, but about creating conditions that enable change. “Dutch Diamond solutions” are not about technology, but about a system perspective and about collaboration. He wondered what would happen if we could drop our assumptions and prejudices in a giant bin at Schiphol before stepping on a plane to make a difference?
After a reflection on environmental impacts of dairy production by Corina van Middelaar (WUR) and sharing of lessons learned in the SNV-TIDE project by Rinus van Klinken (SNV), participants could follow a workshop of their choosing:
- Nutritious dairy: Dairy is part of healthy diets, especially for pregnant women, children, elderly. The challenges are in the triple burden of malnutrition (underweight, overweight, micronutrient deficiencies) and in some dairy products (added sugar, breastmilk substitutes).
- Keeping milk safe: Do farmers hold the key to improving milk quality? What are incentives for them and other stakeholders to keep milk safe. How to build and implement a system for continuous improvement of quality?
- Sustainable intensification. The session is all about interventions to intensify the dairy food system. What do farmers want to adopt and how does it fit in the value chain. And how does that help sustainability from social and environmental perspectives in the longer term.
- Input service business models. Transformation of dairy sector requires right inputs, services and conditions. How to organize this business-wise in support of entrepreneurial farmers. What type of companies and cooperatives work best in what context? The service support sector usually is a mix of SME and cooperative services. Both SMEs and cooperatives can play the facilitation role – Bangladesh vs Kenya.
- Getting the policies right. The success of dairy development depends on business and policy. How to influence and interact with national government to make dairy transformation a success? How can Dutch actors collaborate and influence national policies, and what is role of embassies and Dutch ministries? Can they help?
Key takeaways from the sessions can be found here. After the sessions a panel reacted to the two investment priorities drafted by each session. Wijnand van IJssel, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, closed the meeting with some reflections. He calls for next steps so we can really “een deuk in een pakje boter kunnen slaan” (make a real difference).
The dairy event in Veenendaal was organized by AgriProFocus, F&BKP. NEADAP, LIQUID, and Wageningen UR, and with input from many stakeholders and experts. The goal is to continue this form of collaboration as a Netherlands Dairy Platform within the NFP.