The IDF World Dairy Summit was closed with the signing of the Declaration of Rotterdam: a comprehensive statement on the key contributions and commitments of the dairy sector towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
IDF president Jeremy Hill and assistant director general of the FAO Ren Wang explained the importance of the Declaration, providing a common high-level purpose regarding the dairy sector’s role for nutritional security, sustainability and socio-economic development.
A few specific elements have been elaborated upon; dairy is the No. 1 global agricultural sector by value and is directly responsible for 240 million jobs worldwide, and from this approximately 1 billion livelihoods or the socio-economic well-being of a seventh of the world’s population is being supported. Alongside this, as many as 80 million women are engaged in dairy farming which can play a key role in their empowerment. As well as this, dairy is also considered to be essential in order to reduce hunger and malnutrition, particularly amongst the most vulnerable (pregnant women and children).
“Commitment, that is what FAO is here for,” Ren Wang made clear. “We are honoured and pleased to make a joint commitment with the dairy sector by signing this declaration.” Jeremy Hill reinforced: “If we, as multi-stakeholder organisation don’t take the lead, who will.”
With the audience as witness, the Declaration of Rotterdam has officially been signed. The full text of the Declaration can be read here.
Emmy Koeleman studied Animal Sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She is the editor of Dairy Global and All About Feed.