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DAIRY’S FUTURE VISION 2016 in partnership, development & growth

A strategy for sustainable growth and development of the dairy category, built on plans to deliver stronger awareness of milk and dairy nutrition beneďŹ ts for healthy, active living from childhood to old age. Recognising the power of partnership, this plan is rooted in collaboration, scientiďŹ c expertise, marketing excellence and working with our members to play a greater role in shaping the dairy industry’s agenda in terms of applied research, innovation, reputation, policy and consumer understanding.

PARTNERSHIP dairy across life’s age and stage, innovation in the areas of infant formula, performance nutrition and healthy ageing will drive sector value at an accelerated rate.

Global aging population Globally, the number of older people will almost double to 2 billion by 2050. Within 10 years, Ireland’s over 65’s will increase to almost 900,000.

Why this matters: A doubling of value-added product would see the composite value of dairy increase from 62.5cent to 75.7cent resulting in an additional contribution of €1billion output which will assist in the Irish market’s ability to counteract price volatility.

Why this matters: As awareness is low of the potential for diet to support healthy ageing, the National Dairy Council (NDC) will work closely with expert bodies, policy makers and nutrition scientists to turn our expertise into actions that will support healthier, more independent lives.

Grass-based dairy production Irish dairy produce is based on farming with cows grazing outdoors on grass for much of the year and based on high standards of milk quality and food safety. These are standards which Irish consumers can enjoy every day and practices which result in healthier, happier cows – but combined with a way of dairy farming which is sustainable and means we can pass on something better to those who follow us.

New discoveries to improve performance in sports It is the natural nutritional components of milk that has led to the growing body of research exploring the potential role of milk and milk-based products in sports nutrition – from the elite athlete to the recreational exerciser. Why this matters: Sports coaches working with the active population encourage healthier food choices including dairy as part of performance management. The emerging research presents a powerful opportunity for broadening dairy consumption occasions.

Why this matters: The Sustainable Dairy Quality Assurance Scheme is the first national dairy scheme of its kind anywhere in the world. It sets out requirements for best practice on Irish dairy farms in animal health and welfare, land management, biosecurity, safe farming practices and the production of quality milk. Promoting Ireland as the best dairy producing nation in the world will enable greater export potential.

Growth and innovation in the Irish dairy sector With the emerging scientific evidence reinforcing the benefit of


Our Vision A future in which Irish dairy is recognised and trusted as a vital part of people’s diets and general health across the life stages, indispensable to Ireland’s social and economic wellbeing.

Our Mission To champion the role of quality pasture-based dairy and its nutrition beneďŹ ts in supporting healthier, more active living.


WHAT THIS MEANS 6. To ensure a strong recognition among consumers and retailers of the social and economic benefits of purchasing local dairy products.

Consistent with and underpinning the mission of the organisation, the NDC aims to achieve the following by the end of 2020: 1. To build clear consumer awareness and engagement on the nutrition and health benefits of milk and dairy as part a balanced diet and lifestyle.

7. To deliver strategically sound, excellently executed, insightdriven marketing and promotion plans which increase consumption.

2. To leverage Ireland’s natural advantage of 300-day grazing system per annum.

8. To increase our international network and form strategic partnerships which strengthen our impact and credibility.

3. To maintain expert status on science and research developments in dairy nutrition.

9. To deliver value for money on all activites.

4. To deepen our understanding of our member’s objectives and ensure a robust joint planning process to yield positive results. 5. To successfully protect and enhance the reputation of the dairy industry standing for quality, sustainability and dairy farming excellence, thus well positioned in this post-quota era.


The critical questions we need to answer within our four-year strategic plan. 1. How do we ensure that the positive role dairy can play across the life-stages is clearly understood and embraced so that dairy consumption is sustained and grows? 2. How do we effectively collaborate to ensure the reputation of Irish dairy is both protected and promoted as part of the expansion journey? 3. How do we position dairy as part of the health solution in the minds of consumers, health professionals and policy makers? 4. How do we exploit existing and emerging research to support members’ value-added agenda?

“If the Irish dairy industry can maintain the provenance reputation it enjoys today while growing its output, then I think we will be in a stunning position” DAIRY INDUSTRY BODY


THE OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD Consumers, health professionals and policymakers are actively seeking out food and nutrition expertise. The dairy category, with its unique package of nutrients and easy accessibility is wellpositioned to be part of the solution toward improving the overall diet and health of the nation. Over the lifetime of this strategy, the NDC will work to identify and fully exploit category opportunities for our members while advancing Irish dairy’s social, economic and nutrition agenda.

Marketing Along with the positive story of science there are an increasing number of ways to connect with consumers in a more meaningful and regular manner. The NDC has established a wide reaching social media presence which can be leveraged further to deepen the consumer’s relationship with Irish dairy.

Education The NDC has a well-established, credible track record in delivering nutrition advice and education. We recognise the opportunity for building closer relationships with key influencers across public health via a strategic partnership approach.

Research The NDC has identified the opportunity for specific research projects which reinforce the benefits of dairy in targeted areas i.e. sports, healthy ageing. We will work with the academic institutions and experts to further develop the scientific evidence supporting dairy benefits.

Partnerships We understand the power of partnership. We are committed to working with other allied dairy organisations both nationally and internationally to advance the dairy agenda faster and with greater impact.

Consumers The science around dairy is overwhelmingly positive when it comes to its role across the life-stages. The issue is that the consumer doesn’t fully understand the benefits. We see significant opportunities for the NDC and its members to translate the science into practical dairy solutions from which consumers can benefit.


OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES Having dairy regarded as a vital component of a sustainable food system is a critical strategic outcome. NDC has four priority pillars to guide the actions of the strategy so they are aligned with the sector’s Purpose.



Reputation Management Safeguard the heritage and reputation of Irish dairy among consumers.

Dairy Category Marketing Further promote dairy consumption among Irish consumers through engaging, insight-led marketing strategies.


Healthy Living Build compelling nutrition platforms for dairy to support healthy living across the life stages.


Applied Research Leverage science and research in the key areas of strategic focus to drive dairy category growth and development.


“We have access to first-class raw materials, an excellent educational system and dairy companies who are all very good operators, who are all excellent in their respective areas” INDUSTRY BODY



Healthy Living 1. The NDC will work with consumers to identify opportunities for creating nutrition based platforms for dairy category development.

1. The NDC will work with our strategic partners to promote and protect the drivers of the dairy industry’s reputation; quality, grass-based and sustainable system.

2. We will support our members in the development of their value-added agenda.

2. We will proactively promote Ireland as a top quality dairy producing nation

3. We will develop and deliver effective education programmes for the public on the impact of dairy nutrition on health outcomes, and its role in ensuring good nutritional care.

3. The NDC will continue to reassure consumers about the goodness of dairy, leveraging our expertise to dispel the myths and misconceptions which form barriers to consumption 4. We will work with our strategic partners to develop a roadmap for defending dairy in the event of a consumer issue and ensure aligned and appropriate protocols are in place.


Dairy Category Marketing

Applied Research 1. The NDC will highlight (and where appropriate commission) research conducted in the area of sports nutrition which supports the benefits of dairy in rehydration and recovery.

1. The NDC will establish a new communication platform underpinned by nutrition insights that cuts through and engages consumers. 2. We will grow consumption of Irish dairy products by focusing on the benefits of dairy by age, stage and activity.

2. We will advance the dairy opportunity associated with the ageing demographic (ie. consumption of protein throughout the day as part of muscle maintenance).

3. The NDC will continue to promote the social and economic benefits of supporting the dairy sector and its key points of differentiation.

3. We will work with its international network to build the evidence of dairy consumption benefits with an aim to impact policy at National and EU level.


DELIVERING VALUE TO OUR MEMBERS We recognise our obligation to deliver excellent value and service to the thousands of farming families who fund us. We are ambitious in our pursuit of securing stronger regard for all Irish dairy has to offer. Without the support of Irish dairy farmers this would not be possible. “We can demand a premium based on our reputation for naturalness� IRISH GOVERNMENT


New competencies and approaches

the NDC has relied on its own means and expertise to progress the dairy agenda. It is vital now, with limited resources, to collaborate with others to achieve common goals. Our intention is to work with partners for the greater good of our members, with both parties benefiting from collaboration.

The strategic themes are the competencies, behaviours or approaches we need to adopt and excel in if we are to be successful in meeting our strategic priorities.

Joint Planning


Our ability to influence consumer choice, shape the dairy nutrition agenda and influence category development are highly dependent on establishing deeper relationships with our members to ensure an aligned agenda and planning.

One of our most important roles is to grow our expertise and to remain fully briefed on emerging trends. We will restructure to ensure we are effective in the delivery of this strategy.

This means that we will need to dedicate time and resource to planning activities, employing the services of experts where necessary to secure access and improve our effectiveness.

International Advocacy Creating and sustaining an outward looking culture, supported by meaningful networks to facilitate excellence in advocacy/ policy formation while also being a learning organisation. This will ensure that our organisation will be viewed as essential, dynamic and informed.

Strategic Alliances The support of those we advocate for and work with is vital. In the past,


Acknowledgements We wish to thank the many members who have worked on the development of this strategy. In particular, we wish to thank the Strategic Planning Group who represented the wide range of industry expertise: NDC Strategic Planning Group Teddy Cashman John Comer Ciaran Fitzgerald Maeve Guthrie ZoĂŤ Kavanagh John Murphy Niamh Rice Pat Sheahan Eoghan Sweeney Dr. Marianne Walsh

NDC Chairman ICMSA Agri Economist Rockfield Marketing NDC Executive Glanbia Previs Consulting North Cork Co-op Aurivo Consumer Foods NDC Nutrition


“The industry is made up of people who believe passionately in what they do and that’s very significant because they are our greatest ambassadors” KEY OPINION LEADER

“We can demand a premium based on our reputation for naturalness” IRISH GOVERNMENT

The National Dairy Council t: +353 1 290 2451 e: info@ndc.ie NDCIreland



Profile for The National Dairy Council

Dairy's Future Vision 2016  

A strategy for sustainable growth and development of the dairy category, built on plans to deliver stronger awareness of milk and dairy nutr...

Dairy's Future Vision 2016  

A strategy for sustainable growth and development of the dairy category, built on plans to deliver stronger awareness of milk and dairy nutr...