World Milk Day, which takes place today (Wednesday, June 1) recognises “Ireland’s real national drink” the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has said.

President of the association Pat McCormack said that he hopes people will find the time to raise a glass of milk today to the Irish farmers who are “the most naturally sustainable producers of our most naturally nutritious drink”.

McCormack said that while there have been a lot of changes in the dairy sector, with many more to come, milk has historically played an important role in Irish society, and continues to do so.

“Ireland’s dairy sector itself will continue to develop and modify; but certain core truths must never be forgotten,” he said.

“Foremost amongst those is the fact that Ireland was, is, and always will be, the most sustainable producer of the most naturally nutritious drink in the world.”

McCormack also added that milk still plays an ongoing, vital role in the commerce of rural communities, something he hopes policymakers will recognise.

“Milk is rural Ireland’s lifeblood, we have developed an industry and global reputation for excellence around that fact,” he said.

World Milk Day

Events are taking place across the globe to mark the international event, which was established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in 2001.

The aim of the day is to recognise the important role that milk plays, globally, and to discuss and celebrate the sector. This year’s celebrations focus on the work being done to reduce the dairy sector’s impact on the planet.

To celebrate the day, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI) and the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD), are hosting a webinar on dairying in east Africa.

The event will welcome guest speakers from Tanzania and Kenya and will facilitate discussion around sustainable and climate-resilient dairy farm systems.