Dairy Sustainability Synopsis

Published: 08/02/2018

The European dairy sector is continuously working on improving and implementing the three core pillars of sustainable development. Environmental, economic and social sustainability constitute a core part of the daily work of the European dairy industry.


Dairy is an important actor for climate and the environment. The European Dairy Association (EDA) is proud to highlight the relevance of dairy in the wide context of environmental actions – including climate but looking to the broader picture with water and land uses, biodiversity and animal welfare.


The nutritional benefits of dairy are easily highlighted by many examples. The EU School Food Scheme for example places a central importance on dairy intake – all age groups should be consuming dairy between 2 and 4 times a day and each can choose what products suit them best. Dairy also allows the huge benefit of converting inedible plant material like grass into highly nutritious products for humans and thus help feed and nourish people around the world. See the latest EDA factsheets on Dairy & Children and Health and Nutritional Benefits of Dairy.


Dairy plays a key role in supporting the economies and communities of rural areas, especially those with geographical challenges such as mountains, tundra or arid areas. Without dairy many rural areas would struggle to support local economic actors – the animal rearing and the milk processing industries guarantee high-quality jobs, education and health infrastructure in many valleys and plains across Europe.

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