“Dare to Change” is the motto applicable to the set-up of the IDF World Dairy Summit in October. Several changes have been introduced to the overall program this year, alongside various traditional elements of the IDF summits that remain unchanged. Something that never changes is the amount of knowledge and insights that will be shared during the summit. We can proudly welcome academics, NGO representatives, and experts in the international dairy sector as this year’s speakers. With so many opportunities to create a constructive dialogue, a change is bound to happen. This is an introduction to the programme.
A major change is that the summit will be more condensed and the technical tours will not run parallel to the sessions but instead will take place in the two days after the closing event. This guarantees optimal interaction between all the participants during the three days of sessions in Rotterdam.
The IDF-forum, the leader’s forum and the various social events are good old classics that are staying on the programme. Also sessions like the World situation report and the parallel sessions are valuable, well-known elements in the programme. In several of these sessions however we have made crossovers in various aspects such as nutrition and technology, nutrition and sustainability, and economics and standards.
Furthermore, we aim for a farmer’s event that will also include representation from smallholders from various parts of the world. In a round table setting, farmers will discuss topics that are most relevant on the farm, for example, economy and livelihood, animal health and welfare, soil fertility, water availability, etc.
New to the programme this year are four plenary “Dare to Dairy” sessions for which we have invited “outsiders” to give their view on some of the challenges we are faced with.
Building on the National Committee of Israel’s idea, we have scheduled a closing event in which a declaration will be presented that relates the goals of the dairy sector to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. This declaration will be supported by specific commitments and contributions of various players in the total dairy chain indicating how they will contribute to achieving our overall goals.
During the various plenary events being held at the Summit, Donatello Piras, a professional moderator, will facilitate and stimulate the discussion. With the additional help of an app, the audience can participate and are encouraged to do so.
Everything is set to provide you a stimulating programme, which you can engage in, and rise to the challenge: do you Dare to Dairy?
Ger Willems is chairman of the programme committee of the IDF World Dairy Summit 2016. Furthermore he is Director of Scientific Affairs and Site Manager of the Innovation Centre of the Dutch dairy company FrieslandCampina.