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Society of Dairy
Technology Autumn Conference

Aug 2012

Dr Tim Yeomans attended the recent Society of Dairy technology Conference – ‘Towards a Sustainable Dairy Sector’. The event was held in UCC from the 5th to 7th September and began with a networking event on the evening of the first day in the staff common room. There was great attendance with delegates from the UK and New Zealand as well as Ireland. Approximately 150 attendees participated in the 3 day event which culminated in a technical tour of Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy & Dairygold Biogas Plant, Castlefarm, Mitchelstown.

The first day of presentations began with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D. providing a rousing address to the delegates and also providing time for Q&A after his presentation. Following this welcome diversion from normal protocol, the conference presentations commenced in the areas of sustainable technologies and ecology, sustainable economics and the optimisation of plant scale for expansion in milk production. Day 1 concluded with a fascinating tour of UCC’s Food Science Dept and encompassed all sectors of this (including the micro-brewery!).

Of particular interest was the presentation given by Barry Cole, Development Manager with GEA Group from New Zealand. Mr Cole gave some really interesting comparisons between New Zealand and Ireland as well as outlining some key differences, particularly proximity to international markets.

TThe final day focused on sustainable nutrition, practicing and communicating sustainability and concluded with the technical tour. Many of the nutrition presentations focused on either on the infant or advanced age markets as well as the potential minefield of making and justifying health claims.

With the impending abolition of milk quotas in 2015, preparation is vital; conferences such as this one, organised by the Society of Dairy Technology, play a key role in this and provide opportunities for those in the industry to acquire knowledge and identify opportunities.