At the IDF World Dairy Summit 2013 in Yokohama, Japan, Tetra Pak president and CEO, Dennis Jönsson explained to FoodBev Media that he sees a tremendous opportunity setting up for global milk consumption.

Thirsty? Global milk consumption set to take off“The global dairy industry is facing an era of unprecedented change: with rising demand, a shifting geographic balance, changing consumer expectations and an ever-sharpening focus on food safety, food security and environmental impact,” Jönsson said.

Jönsson sees the world setting up for a decade-long boom in milk consumption.

Demand for liquid dairy products could surge by nearly 30 percent through 2020, driven in part by economic growth, urbanization and the rising purchasing power of Asia’s middle class.

“Better educated and better informed, these new middle-class consumers are expected to take ever more interest in issues related to food safety, healthy living and the environment,” Jönsson said. “In addition, they are likely to be more brand-conscious and interested in products that meet the needs of their busy, urban, on-the-go lifestyles.”

In China, the world’s largest dairy importer, demand is expect to increase significantly over the next several years. According to a recent Rabobank report, it could be at least 2016 before the” pace of large-scale dairy farm expansion in China outweighs the current contraction in ‘backyard’ sources and leads to a reduction in import growth.”

“Even when that rate of growth in imports slows, China will remain a major consumer of global dairy exports,” Asia Hayley Moynihan, co-author of the report and Rabobank director of dairy research, said.

Read more about Rabobank’s report from Food magazine.

For dairy farmers across the country – and globe – there is plenty of opportunity for growth and success.

“Today, more than ever, dairy companies need to embrace new thinking, new solutions and new approaches in order to respond to these challenges,” said Jönsson. 

He adds: “I am convinced that our industry has the creativity, dedication and vision to seize the opportunities offered by phenomenal growth, creating the new strategic partnerships, business models and innovative technological solutions that will ensure we all succeed.”

 Click here for the full interview with Jönsson.

The U.S. continues to be a major player in the export market. According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the U.S. dairy exports totaled more than $5 billion in 2012. In March, U.S. and Chinese regulators approved a new dairy certificate after three years of negotiations that will keep U.S. dairy producers flowing into China.

U.S. dairy exports to China cleared $400 million last year, and USDEC President Tom Suber expects "U.S. dairy export value to China could more than double by 2017."

Read more here.