Farmers and the public are today celebrating the benefits of milk to global nutrition, sustainability, livelihoods and economic development.
World Milk Day, the annual celebration of milk which takes place annually on 1 June, has been a fixed date in the calendar for two decades.
The initiative was created by the United Nations in 2001, and aims to highlight the contributions of the sector in countries around the world.
Social media users are taking part in the worldwide celebration today by sharing #WorldMilkDay on posts.
Greetings on the occasion of #WorldMilkDay. Milk has been a great source of important nutrients and has played a vital role in strengthening the rural economy and improving lives in India. pic.twitter.com/uHUwf529f1— Shankar Chaudhary (@ChaudhryShankar) June 1, 2021
In the UK, the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) said there were 'many benefits' of consuming milk and dairy, including nutritionally, economically and environmentally.
Vice president Dai Miles said: “The FUW is celebrating World Milk Day to increase public awareness about all aspects of milk such as its natural origin and nutritional value, as well as its economic importance throughout the globe.
“Milk and dairy products are nutrient-dense foods supplying energy and significant amounts of protein and micronutrients, which are essential to reduce hunger and malnutrition particularly amongst the most vulnerable such as pregnant women and children."
In addition to providing children with a variety of vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy, scientists say milk is important to help build and maintain strong bones.
Let us celebrate all things #dairy as today is World Milk Day! It is a good time to remember that dairy is affordable & accessible. Rally with us and tell us all your favourite ways to #WorldMilkDay #EnjoyDairy #TeamDairy @WorldMilkDay pic.twitter.com/sDPam21AFs— UKDairyDay (@UKDairyDay) June 1, 2021
It is an important source of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, zinc vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, protein and fat, among many others.
Mr Miles added that the product was sustainably produced across Welsh and UK farms: "I encourage you to include it in your diet."
Addressing concerns of animal welfare, he stressed that British dairy farmers 'already comply with and produce to world leading standards'.
#WorldMilkDay is showing me the importance of #TeamDairy to so many people?????????????? around the world?? I am proud to play a very small part in the UK dairy sector that supplies an affordable, nutricious product to 98% of UK???? homes! #EnjoyDairy #HappyCows ?????? pic.twitter.com/4FdqY4YHRD— Joe Bramall ?? (@JoeBramall) June 1, 2021
“Our dairy farmers comply with some of the highest regulations on animal health and welfare, as well as environmental standards," Mr Miles explained.
"Consumers can rest assured that milk from Wales has been produced sustainably and with the environment in mind.
"As dairy farmers we rely on our cows being healthy and the ground they graze to be healthy too.
"That is reflected in an outstanding, trustworthy product that keeps us healthy and the rural economy flourishing,” he said.