Why you should thank a dairy farmer
With World Milk Day having been celebrated on Saturday 1 June, we decided to highlight all the benefits of including milk in your diet. This is why you should thank a dairy farmer today!
What is World Milk Day?
World Milk Day is an event celebrated on the 1st of June every year. Since 2001 the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has aimed to highlight the importance of the dairy sector in sustainability, nutrition and economic growth.
Milk and other dairy products are very important in any healthy and sustainable eating plan. These foods are considered nutrient-rich due to the following reasons:
- They are a natural source of protein and contain essential amino acids needed in the body
- They are great sources of calcium, which is essential for the development of healthy bones, as well as being a source of magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, which helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- Dairy products also provide a number of vitamins like vitamin D, A, B12 and riboflavin.
- Cultured products like yoghurt and kefir are a good source of probiotics, which are essential to the development of healthy gut bacteria.
The suggested serving of dairy is two to three cups of milk, or servings of dairy products per day, in order to gain sufficient levels of vitamin D and calcium.
The dairy industry makes up a big part of the agriculture sector in South Africa, and employs more than 40 000 people across the country.
According to the Abstract of Agricultural Statistics of 2019, provided by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, during 2018 there was an estimated total of 1 290 000 dairy cattle in the country. In the 2017/2018 period a total of 2 252 000 tons of fresh milk was consumed in the country, leading to an estimation of 39 kg of fresh milk consumed per individual for that year.
These statistics alone provide an insight into how much milk a dairy farmer is expected to produce, and how much we as a country depend on milk as a source of nutrition.
For more information, you can visit the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO) website, or visit Milk South Africa.