UK and Irish followers of the Society of Dairy Technology will meet for the Society’s Autumn Conference themed Towards a Sustainable Dairy Sector which will take place in UCC, Cork from 5-7 September 2012.
The conference will be officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D. on the morning of Thursday, 6 September 2012. Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc will moderate the opening session on Sustainable Technologies and Ecology during which Dr. Rogier Schulte will outline the Teagasc position on ‘Modelling choices and marginal cost predictions for sustainable Irish agriculture’.
An Open Forum will focus on ‘Optimising process plant scale for expansion in milk production’ with economic and engineering aspects being addressed by fellow Teagasc researchers, Trevor Donnellan and Donal O’Callaghan, respectively. A technical tour to the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark and the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark as well as nearby Dairygold’s new state of the art environmentally-friendly effluent treatment system, which features a 45,000m3 anaerobic digester, will take place on Friday, afternoon 7 September.
The theme of the conference – ‘Towards a Sustainable Dairy Sector’, is timely as anticipation is building up around industry expansion from 2015 onwards. However, sustainable practices must form part of expansion plans so that by 2020, national targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions must be met.
Speaking in advance of the conference, Dr Phil Kelly, Teagasc Food Research Programme said:”While the market outlook is positive given the increasing global demand for naturally produced, nutritious milk products, continuing market volatility demands vigilance in manufacturing competitiveness. Consumer sentiment will also be uncompromising as regards environmental responsibility and attention to best-in-class sustainable technologies. “