Milk powder made from whey, a byproduct of the dairy industry, is flooding African markets and taking the place of locally produced milk.
The Irish dairy industry has boomed over the past decade, with 1.7 million tonnes of produce shipped to 133 countries in 2022 - bringing in a record €6.8 billion. Alongside butter and cheese, production and export of the fat-filled milk substitute powder has been largely overlooked.
Pioneered by the Irish dairy industry, the product is impacting small-scale local farming communities in export countries that have a smaller climate footprint than our own indigenous sector that is responsible for 40% of all agricultural emissions in Ireland.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to examine the role played by our dairy industry, and the State bodies that support it, in creating a market for this milk alternative.
We will crunch the emissions numbers on the climate impact of the imitation milk product that contains vegetable oils such as palm oil.
We also plan to carry out field research in African destination countries to examine the impact on local farmers.
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