World Milk Day: Farmers and public hail benefits of milk

World Milk Day was established by the UN to recognise the importance of milk as a global food
World Milk Day was established by the UN to recognise the importance of milk as a global food

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.

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.

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'.

“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.