World Dairy Leaders' Forum: Nestlé

Thierry Philardeau, head of the Dairy Strategic Business Unit, Nestlé, in Switzerland, talked about the "Water Issue - a Call to Action" at the World Dairy Leaders' Forum during the IDF World Dairy Summit in Cape Town in November 2012.

It takes about one litre of water to produce one calorie, and 2000-6000 litres of freshwater per person is withdrawn worldwide to grow daily food.

It takes 10 times more water per kcal to produce meat, compared to kcal from plants. China’s meat consumption is increasing. Their daily consumption is now at 145 g, New Zealand at 389, USA 342 and Spain 320 g/day.

Projections for 2030: We will have 60% larger demand for fresh water withdrawals for human use that the sustainable supply available. A big part of this is concerning agriculture. The increase is driven by population growth and growth in prosperity.

The good news is that dairy based foods have low water use and a high nutrient density.

Here are 10 key principles for water savings in farms.

1) Improve water use efficiency

2) Use alternative sources of water

3) Schedule irrigation

4) Manage soil fertility

5) Minimise soil erosion

6) Avoid water pollution

7) Prevent and repair leaks

8) Adopt drought tolerant crop and stress-resistent varieties

9) Shift crop seasons towards raining season

10) Use alternative washing and cleaning processes

Nestlé is developing a dairy factory with a positive water impact, a zer-eau factory, where water is treated and re-used many times. First factory will be launched in Mexico in 2013.


Monica Wadsworth

Monica Wadsworth
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IDF World Dairy Summit in Cape Town 2012

(click on image above to go to the World Dairy Summit 2012 web site)