The international status of milk as a healthy nutritious product has been strengthened by the formation of a new alliance of international dairy companies called Global Dairy Platform (GDP).

Four leading global dairy companies, Fonterra, Campina, Dairy Farmers of America and Arla Foods, working jointly with the International Dairy Federation (IDF) launched the non-profit organization that will provide direction and drive to the global dairy industry at IDF’s annual meeting in Shanghai, China earlier this week.

To achieve success in strengthening key dairy messages worldwide, GDP will need to support and involve national dairy associations, other non-profit dairy organizations, dairy corporations, and cooperatives, together with other dairy-related companies.

“We formed GDP to take greater advantage of opportunities for global collaboration,” explained Andrew Ferrier, Chief Executive Officer of Fonterra and Chairman of the GDP Board, who initiated the idea for the new organization. “GDP will promote and protect the nutritional integrity of milk and dairy products and to ensure that dairy is an essential part of the daily diet, to achieve their rightful position in a more unified manner across all regions.”

“GDP’s overall goal is to sustain and expand the global demand for dairy products,” said Don Schriver, GDP Interim Executive Director. “We intend to do this by providing members with a unique global platform of pre-competitive scientific and marketing research, regulatory and generic promotional activities, resulting in better coordination of these important areas for the global dairy industry.”

Schriver also introduced designate GDP Executive Director, Kevin Bellamy, who commented that “it was important that the new organization should support and help focus existing and new initiatives to achieve global impact.” Bellamy will take up the role from January 2007.

GDP will facilitate the sharing of needs, knowledge and best practices among existing dairy organizations, and thereby achieve greater coordination and focus across the dairy industry, thus providing higher returns on member investments. GDP will not fund or conduct research itself; the organization will recommend particular directions for pre-competitive milk and dairy research in the areas of health and wellness, disease and comparative research worldwide. To learn more go to: www.globaldairyplatform.com

Global Dairy Platform press release