Conference warned of threat to dairy industry
3rd Nov 08, 9:00am
Speakers at the Horizons Livestock Sciences Conference hosted by AgResearch and CSIRO left no doubt that Dairy will remain one of the fastest growing industries in NZ, but one speaker warned that the global dairy industry would eventually face some fierce competition from soybean. Addressing the question of "Value vs Volume", Dr John Penno of Synlait, said soy as a protein substitute would influence the dairy industry in the future, unless the industry could find ways to transform the value of its product. "Soy can be produced much more efficiently on scales we can't even comprehend, and as soy products are being developed to more resemble dairy products, there is a danger that it can become a substitute for most dairy products."Dr Penno says NZ's dairy industry will have to find ways that can meaningful differentiate its products from others on the international markets. "This is a 20 year strategy. We need to exploit the bundle of benefits that is uniquely NZ"“ things that we take for granted like a healthy environment, healthy lifestyles and healthy and safe food. All of these attributes have to be wrapped up in real products with substance," he says. He says there is a challenge ahead for scientists working on adding value to dairy food products.