Dairy UK have discredited claims that dairy is not sustainable following a report by Eating Better, that promotes a reduced intake of dairy. In the intro of the report, it states: “There are many elements to achieving this goal, but one is key – if we are to feed a growing and more affluent global population healthily, fairly and sustainable and live within planetary boundaries – is to reduce the high level of livestock products that we eat in countries such as the UK.”
The introduction continues by saying: “The 2015 Paris climate Agreement commitments to keep global temperature rise within safe limits cannot be met without including dietary change as a priority solution. We need urgent action to reduce meat consumption of at least 50% by 2030 in high consuming countries including the UK.”
In addition, they identify the environmental impact of animal agriculture, saying: “Livestock production is a driving force behind wide-scale global biodiversity loss, particularly through the increasing cultivation and use of crops such as soya for feeding intensively produced chicken, pork and dairy.”
The report continues by looking at the impact that eating animal products has on the healthcare system as conditions such as type 2 diabetes, different types of cancer and obesity are increasingly becoming a weight on the NHS, and in some cases linked to animal-heavy diets.
The report addresses the welfare issues raised with dairy production in excess in the UK, with the report identifying that the increased yield of milk has “been accompanied by declining ability to reproduce, increasing incidence of health problems such as lameness and metabolic disorders, and declining longevity in modern dairy cows.”
However, Dairy UK has disputed these claims and issued a statement about the matter, saying that the dairy industry has been “wilfully misrepresented”. Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK has tried to discredit their information by saying: “We totally reject any assertion that dairy products are not environmentally sustainable.
“The dairy sector helps to feed the UK with efficient, predominantly grass-based milk production, high animal welfare standards, safe and nutritious foods.”
Despite this, dairy sales continue to fall as ethical and environmental reasons are at the forefront of the popularity of alternative products, and the attempted ‘Februdairy’ campaign by the dairy industry was taken over by the vegan community, resulting in a failed campaign.