Prof Toon Van Hooijdonk (Wageningen University, the Netherlands) recalled the challenges faced by exponential worldwide population growth with the availability of food supplies. In this respect, dietary proteins will play a decisive role in the coming decades in meeting needs in the face of limited resources and the production of greenhouse gases. In the case of dairy products, the FAO is expecting an explosion in demand, with an increase from 700 billion to 1000 billion kg between now and 2050.
This demand will force the entire dairy sector to increase milk production by dairy cows by improving the animals’ ability (which has already risen by about 25%) to convert poor quality proteins (i.e. vegetable proteins) into high quality proteins, whilst taking care to minimise their ecological footprint.