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U.S. dairy took the stage at COP27 as a climate-smart answer to feed the world


USDEC and DMI showcased U.S. dairy’s contributions to international local weather and meals safety objectives and the work that lies forward.  

Animal agriculture, together with dairy, is below the microscope globally and sometimes topic to selections made by individuals who have by no means been on a dairy farm or in a dairy processing plant. That’s why the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) felt it was so essential to have interaction with international policymakers, allied agricultural organizations and, significantly, teams which have been essential of dairy ultimately month’s UN Local weather Change Convention (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

COP27 introduced collectively greater than 40,000 individuals to collaborate on local weather options, and U.S. dairy was within the thick of it. USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden and Dairy Administration Inc. (DMI) Chair Marilyn Hershey co-led a high-level U.S. delegation to spotlight U.S. dairy’s essential contributions to international local weather and meals safety objectives.

“At this pivotal second for agriculture and local weather, USDEC was honored to contribute to the worldwide dialog on sustainability generated by COP,” mentioned Harden. “Extra importantly, COP27 is the proper platform to share our bold commitments, rejoice progress and realistically talk the onerous work that is still to safe U.S. dairy’s essential position in a extra sustainable international meals system.”

All through the convention, the U.S. dairy delegation collectively participated in panels, program discussions and bilateral conferences with different organizations lively at COP. This text offers a one-stop roundup of what U.S. dairy achieved at COP27 and why. It features a sampling of social media messages and pictures posted by USDEC through the Nov. 6-18 international gathering.

IICA Pavilion: heart of dairy exercise
USDEC was a serious contributor to the first-ever Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). This chance was a pure outgrowth of USDEC’s robust partnership with IICA specializing in supporting science-based meals requirements and selling the essential position of dairy in sustainable meals techniques—essential themes that USDEC is dedicated to bringing to the COP discussion board.

COP27 is the most recent in USDEC’s ongoing efforts to have interaction with the voices who’re taking part in a serious position in shaping international insurance policies to mitigate the challenges of local weather change and to lift U.S. dairy’s profile as a dedicated accomplice. It builds on USDEC work with the United Nations companies just like the UN Meals and Agricultural Group (FAO) and UN Surroundings Programme (UNEP) and on DMI’s efforts domestically, strengthening relationships, fostering goodwill and enhancing U.S. dairy’s status by showcasing the trade’s dedication to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

IICA’s pavilion was the middle of dairy exercise within the official “Blue Zone,” with lots of visiting the placement all through every day. As well as, it served as the focus for producers, agriculture specialists, lecturers, dairy trade leaders, provide chain companions and senior authorities representatives to deal with COP27 negotiators and influential stakeholders.

USDEC convenes dairy panel
Amongst different programming, USDEC convened the panel, “Local weather Sensible and Sustainable Dairy Manufacturing,” on the IICA Pavilion, to extend consciousness of the local weather actions, sustainable initiatives and progress made by the dairy sector at international, regional and nationwide ranges.

That includes U.S. dairy’s expertise, the panel highlighted the methods the dairy sector globally is working to cut back emissions, contribute to GHG mitigation and discover alternatives for enhancing productiveness by adopting practices and applied sciences that may have a significant affect on the sector’s environmental footprint.

Harden moderated the panel, which included audio system Hershey; Donald Moore, govt director of International Dairy Platform (GDP); Caroline Emond, director common of the Worldwide Dairy Federation (IDF); and Cecilia Jones, a coordinator with Uruguay’s Nationwide Institute of Agricultural Analysis. As well as, the Pan American Dairy Federation (FEPALE) offered movies of sustainability work its members are conducting in Chile and Uruguay to implement options for his or her distinctive manufacturing techniques and geographies. USDEC has a long-standing relationship with FEPALE, working collectively on quite a few points impacting the dairy trade, dairy consumption and international commerce, with an growing concentrate on sustainability within the face of world commerce challenges just like the EU Farm to Fork technique.

Hershey talks dairy with Vilsack
At a separate panel placed on by the U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA), DMI Chair Hershey highlighted U.S. dairy climate-smart initiatives to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and different U.S. agricultural leaders.

Vilsack offered updates on main U.S. sustainability applications impacting dairy.

  • USDA added $300 million to its preliminary $2.8 billion funding in 70 pilot initiatives from the U.S. Partnerships for Local weather-Sensible Commodities. Among the many first-round funding was $400 million for 9 dairy-focused initiatives to assist develop markets for climate-smart dairy commodities and assist the dairy sector extra successfully monitor, confirm and report greenhouse gasoline discount advantages. The extra $300 million is earmarked for brand new initiatives aimed toward small and underserved producers.
  • The Agricultural Innovation Mission for Local weather (AIM for Local weather), which was launched by the U.S. and UAE along side COP26 in 2021, has earned backing by greater than 60 nations and almost 250 multi-national organizations and firms, together with USDEC. (USDEC is an official AIM for Local weather “data accomplice.”) This system helps sustainability progress in agriculture to make it a part of the sustainability answer, whereas constructing resiliency and offering modern instruments, funding and different sources for producers.
  • Pathways to Dairy Internet Zero rolled out previous to COP26 final 12 months. Created by International Dairy Platform (GDP) and, with the backing of USDEC and different companions such because the UN FAO and the U.S. State Division, Pathways seeks to cut back the environmental affect of the sector as a complete.

The Pathways initiative is a crucial effort that reveals the world that the worldwide dairy trade is critical about addressing environmental affect whereas doubling down on the vital position that dairy has in the way forward for the worldwide meals system.

“At a time when many detractors are searching for methods to marginalize the position of dairy, this can be a essential initiative on which the trade should stand collectively on a pre-competitive foundation,” mentioned Harden.

Networking reception
Harden additionally hosted a USDEC/IICA reception and dinner that drew near 100 attendees from 14 international locations. The visitors included a number of ministerial and ambassador-level officers, a former UN Secretary-Basic and representatives from teams typically essential of the environmental affect of dairy and skeptical of the dietary worth of animal-sourced meals.

Representatives from USDA, main international organizations (corresponding to meals and agriculture corporations JBS Meals, Corteva and FMC Corp.), food-focused nonprofits like EAT, and environmental teams just like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Nature Conservancy have been available for the networking occasion. Shows through the dinner highlighted applications demonstrating agriculture’s energy as a local weather answer by way of innovation, adaptation and productiveness progress, together with the U.S.-led Sustainable Productiveness Progress Coalition (SPG Coalition) and Virginia Tech’s International Agricultural Productiveness Initiative.

Invoice Hohenstein, director of USDA’s Workplace of Vitality and Environmental Coverage, outlined the SPG Coalition, which was fashioned with USDEC’s help on the UN Meals Methods Summit in 2021.

The SPG Coalition goals to speed up the transition to extra sustainable meals techniques utilizing a holistic strategy to productiveness progress—a key theme USDEC helps—that considers impacts and tradeoffs amongst a number of aims, together with meals safety and diet, meals security, meals affordability, farmer incomes, animal welfare, biodiversity, water high quality, local weather change mitigation and adaptation, and different components. The SPG Coalition created an influential group of like-minded organizations and international locations with which USDEC is working to make sure that productiveness progress—important for U.S. dairy to attain its personal environmental objectives—options prominently in international dialogues like COP. Productiveness progress has been an vital rallying cry to defend fashionable U.S. agricultural practices at COP towards ideologically pushed critics favoring agroecological approaches corresponding to these embodied within the EU Farm-to-Fork Initiative.

Influencing minds
A significant aim of USDEC’s presence at COP was partaking with influential teams lively within the discussion board who’re skeptical of U.S. dairy’s position in a sustainable meals system and sometimes advocate options supporting native manufacturing on the expense of worldwide commerce. A number of engagement breakthroughs have been achieved by way of bilateral conferences, significantly with international well being and meals safety teams, like EAT and the FAIRR Initiative.

“We felt that we wanted to be at COP27 as a corporation to supply info, to appropriate some misconceptions, to take part,” mentioned Harden. “We wished to construct stronger relationships and strengthen U.S. dairy credibility with these teams we now have been working with on sustainability for years, and we wished to raised have interaction with those that might not see dairy as appropriate with their imaginative and prescient of sustainability.”

“At instances, a few of these discussions have been troublesome. However speaking with these teams who don’t agree with us is simply as vital as speaking with those that do agree with us,” she added. “COP allowed us to take a seat down in a civil presence and have these discussions. The convention is the convening of disparate concept, however with some underlying consistencies. All of us care about our planet. We care about feeding individuals in a sustainable approach … we simply have a special approach of going about it.”

The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative trade partnerships with processors, buying and selling corporations and others to boost international demand for U.S. dairy merchandise and elements. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Administration Inc. by way of the dairy farmer checkoff. The best way to republish this publish.  



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